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Third Sunday in Lent

March 15, 2020 Speaker: Murray Keith Series: Lent

Passage: John 4:5–4:26

†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: John 4:5-26
Date: March 15th, 2020; Lent 3; Series A 
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
  • It’s been quite a week and an especially interesting last few days.
  • Difficult decisions have been made related to taking precautionary measures to help prepare for and prevent the spread of COVID-19.  
  • Professional sport leagues have postponed their seasons.  The Junos have been cancelled.  
  • Difficult decisions need to be made about how we proceed with school and work and even church. 
  • People are stocking-up to make sure that they have the basic necessities if isolation is necessary and out of fear over strained supply chains.  
  • I think that these are wise decisions and appropriate measures to take.  
  • We are still unsure how everything is going to unfold and it makes good sense to prepare as we can and that we focus our efforts on preventing illness and suffering.
  • I think our Gospel reading for this morning provides us with some good insight into what’s important and into how we live in the midst of pandemics - and each and every day of our lives.
  • There are a number of layers in this account of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well, but I want to focus mostly on one important aspect. 
  • There came a woman of Samaria to draw water.
  • The water she came to draw from the well is absolutely necessary to sustain her life.  
  • We need this water to sustain our lives.  
  • We become thirsty and our bodies require water to function properly.  Our bodies will die without it.  
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong with this woman’s desire for water and for the effort she made in getting it.  
  • There is absolutely nothing wrong wth our desire for what we need to live and for our efforts in getting them.
  • Even Jesus, being true man, was wearied and needed water, so he asked the Samaritan woman for a drink.
  • The water in the well represents our human needs physically and we are thankful to God for supplying these things.
  • But Jesus reveals to the Samaritan woman - and to all of us - that there is something far deeper and far more important than water, or food, or even toilet paper.
  • The satisfaction we gain from food and water and houses and cars and vacations is temporary.  
  • For the rest of our lives we will keep going back, over and over again, to the well of what the world offers because we keep getting hungry and thirsty. 
  • We find that no matter how well stocked we are, no matter how much we have - we are never quite satisfied because we know that ultimately everything in this world is only temporary.  It is fading.
  • Jesus is the only One who offers us what we truly need for this life and for the eternal life to come.  
  • He offers us the only water that truly satisfies, that is truly permanent, the only water that promises that those who drink of it will never be thirsty again.  Forever.
  • Jesus calls it living water.  
  • We need this water to live - now and for eternity.
  • What is this living water?
  • It’s the love, and mercy, and grace that God has shown us through Christ Jesus.
  • It’s the salvation won for us in the blood shed by the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.
  • It’s being saved from, spared from, the disaster and death that our sin deserves.  
  • Receiving this living water means having peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • The living water given by Jesus justifies us before God.
  • And that changes everything.
  • We who have obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, rejoice in hope of the glory of God.    
  • We no longer fear death because God has given us living water that promises life forever.
  • Our Lord boldly proclaimed, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (John 11:25).
  • We who have received God’s gift of living water no longer fear suffering - suffering that might result from COVID-19 - or suffering of any kind.
  • In fact, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame.
  • We rejoice in our sufferings because we know they are temporary and God has promised victory over them.  
  • Although it might not feel like it on this side of heaven - our sufferings are a mere moment relative to eternity.
  • Our suffering is transformed because our relationship with God has been transformed through Christ!
  • God has given us living water, God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
  • And so, we continue to receive the earthly gifts that God provides through the well that sustains this earthly life - water, food, clothing, shelter, and the like.
  • But we remember that everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again.
  • We don’t get wrapped up in the greed and hoarding and selfishness and fear that the water of this world can cause.
  • Instead, having been given the spring of water that wells up to eternal life - we love and provide for each other - just as God has loved and provided for us.
  • We have received what we truly need from God - living water that quenches our thirst for eternity.
  • Since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Faith believes and receives God’s promise.  Faith trusts his Word.
  • Hear again some of the greatest words in the entire Bible, “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
  • The whole point of Jesus’ coming into this world to live a perfect life, to suffer and die on the cross, to rise from his grave - was to bring us the living water we all so desperately need.  
  • To bring peace between God and you.  To justify you.  To give you eternal life.
  • It’s a fact that life on this planet is not always easy for us.  
  • There are natural disasters.  There are pandemics.  We have health issues that bring us pain and worry.  
  • We worry over our loved ones.  
  • We feel stress over money and how we are going to survive.  
  • We experience fear and anxiety as we see what is going on in the world around us.
  • But we can deal with the stuff that life throws at us because God has given us a great and certain hope for our future - in this life and for the life that is to come.
  • St. Paul writes, “We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4).
  • With this promise we never fear any of life’s difficulties more than we fear, love, and trust in God.
  • My brothers and sisters in Christ, you are a baptized child of God who has received an eternal supply of living water.
  • Be bold in loving, caring for, and helping each other. 
  • Be bold in proclaiming to the world where to find the living water that God has lovingly and graciously provided. 
  • Be at peace knowing and trusting that everyone who drinks of it will never be thirsty again.  Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.

More in Lent

April 10, 2020

Good Friday (Full Service)

April 9, 2020

Maundy Thursday (Full Service)

March 28, 2020

Fifth Sunday in Lent