I needed worship on Sunday. My spiritís well had run
dry. My heartís joy had been depleted.
But Sunday restored my hope. There was such a hum
rushing through the pews the way water seeps through
cracks. We, as a family of faith, had gathered to
worship, to share life, and to break bread. We, as a
family of faith, lived into what I think is our best
gift that we can offer to Lincoln and one of the
most important in our missional identity:
As yíall know we hosted the choir from Lincoln
College. Yet I think many of you would agree that in
the end, they hosted us. Their singing possessed a
peacefulness that penetrated the solemnity that Lent
can sometimes posses. They gave us a break from our
Ďnormal routineí and they took us down to the river
where we were able to drink deep from Godís goodness
On Sunday, I believed a part of us was healed. Did
you know the church can do that? Did you know that
the church can heal? Did you know that the church is
actually called to bring healing to the world? Did
you know that you cannot only participate in this
healing but also receive it?
Did you know that God wants to heal you? From
whatever is troubling. From whatever burden you are
carrying. From that broken heart. From the bad news
you received. From the doubt that you arenít as good
as your siblings. From the busy life you have taken
on without knowing. From burn out. You get the
All of this reminds me of an interaction Jesus had
at a well with a Samaritan woman. Perhaps you
remember it. It is high noon and Jesus stops to get
a drink of water while the disciples go ahead into
the city to do what disciples do. At the well Jesus
meets a woman and asks her for a drink.
From there the interactions go something like this:
Woman: You are asking me, a Samaritan, to get you, a
Jew, a drink? No way.
Jesus: If you knew who I was, you would. Youíd never
have to drink again, actually.
Woman: Ha! You donít even have a bucket. So please,
give me this living water. (Giant eye roll!)
The interaction gets a little strange. Jesus
invites/tells her to go get her husband. She canít
and Jesus reveals that he knows her history. Most
sermons will depict this woman as a prostitute of
sorts. But this isnít necessarily the case. She is
more likely widowed or abandoned, because men often
did that in 1st century culture.
What happens next is a healing. The woman was made
to be ashamed about who she was: not only a
Samaritan woman, who was viewed as an equal to a
manís donkey, but also a divorced woman. Jesus
shouldnít be talking to her. She wasnít worthy of
Jesus has no interest in shaming her. Instead
Jesus gazes upon her with sympathetic eyes and
extends a word of hope, a word of healing. Jesus is
not chastising her or calling her to account; rather
he sees her; compassionately naming and
understanding her circumstances.
I like what one Lutheran pastor says about this
While she came to the well to get water, now that
she has met Jesus, "who told me everything I have
ever done," she leaves her jar -- the token of her
present difficult and dependent life -- behind to go
tell others. She has, indeed, encountered living
water, has been freed by her encounter with Jesus,
and wants to share this living water with others.
Sunday I was the woman at the well. I was thirsty
and needed my cup filled up. And it was at church,
among you, brothers and sisters, that my thirst was
quenched. Worship was refreshing and my spirit was
renewed. That's what refreshment does for us; it
renews our spirits like a cool glass of water, and
moves us from scarcity to abundance in all aspects
of our lives.
Friends, God wants to heal us. God sits at the well
waiting for us to come. God welcomes us.
God welcomes you with open, healing arms.
My question to you is, what are you holding onto
that is prevent you from being healed by God?
Name it. Then, leave it at the well.
[Adam Quine, pastor at First Presbyterian Church