No Substitution

Feb. 24, 2018

Two years ago I was inspired by a dear friend to begin writing and sharing a blog with interested readers. I did not know what this journey would create nor where the interested readers would come from. I have never read anyone else’s blog before and did not really understand the possible impact such contributions would make in the lives of readers that would venture on to this site. 

Sometimes I will go several weeks before an idea comes to me that inspires me to write. When I log on to my blog site I often scroll down to the bottom of the page to see how much the counter has changed since the last time I looked. It really inspires me to continue writing when I see the numbers grow. Any words of encouragement you would like to share or any thoughts concerning what you read would be helpful. Thank you again for visiting this blog site. My hope is that something written will bring you a sense of challenge as well as joy.  

On my title page I try to raise the idea of the importance of a fountain. I related the New Testament passage from John chapter 4 concerning the woman at the well. As I have meditated recently about the encounter between Jesus and this un-named woman something very new surfaced for me and it is this new thought that has inspired me to write this entry.

Back when Jesus walked the earth men did not speak to women directly. If a man wanted to speak to a married woman he would go to the woman’s husband and the husband would relay the message to her. Picture, if you will, the scene as Jesus invites this Samaritan woman into a conversation by asking her for a drink. She has in her hand a water pot. This object will figure prominently in this reflection. As the conversation ensues she makes a discovery about Jesus. She discovers that he is a prophet being able to tell her things about her life that perhaps caused her to come to this well in the middle of the day. She even has the ability to talk religious language in spite of the fact that she has been married five times and the man she is presently living with is not her husband. 

A very important revelation needs to be voiced at this point. Jesus was not so concerned with this woman’s past that it became an obstacle in her ability to bless another. As a matter of fact, what she will do as the story unfolds is an indicator of what love reveals when one encounters the Christ. As Jesus indicates to her that he is able to give her living water whereby she would never thirst again she struggles to make the leap from the physical to the spiritual. Once she recognizes the spiritual aspect Jesus was willing to give her she leaves her water pot and goes back to her village to speak to the men.

Speaking to the men of the village and being a woman was not a standard gesture. But due to her encounter with Jesus that did not seem to matter. Whatever happened to her as a result of her experience with Jesus was voiced in such a way that the men of the village came out to the well to see for themselves. The amazing fact that so often gets lost in our so called modern world is that this message was proclaimed by a woman. When she became enlightened by this living water that gushed up from within her she became the voice in the church that led the whole city to experience the Christ. This understanding is necessary if one is to grasp the subtleties of the enemy of God that tries to keep woman quiet in the church. If this woman had kept quiet then those within her village would never have encountered the One that satisfies their spiritual thirst.

Now we hold up for your consideration the water pot she left when she went back to tell the men about her encounter. The water pot is what she used to draw water from the well because of physical thirst. It occurred to me that once the living water began to spring up from within her in essence she became the water pot or the carrier of the living water. Figuratively speaking, she leaves the physical water pot and becomes the spiritual container carrying the living water back to her village so those who were unknowingly thirsty would discover what she now contained and was willing to share. There is no substitution for this living water and we all have it within us waiting to be discovered.

With that I will close with the New Testament passage from Revelation 22:17, “And the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him/her who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him/her who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him/her take the water of life freely.”