Call to Worship
L: O come, let us sing to the LORD
P: Let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
L: Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
P: Let us make a joyful noise to him with songs
L: For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
All: O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
Invocation / Opening Prayer (Lent continued)
Gracious and all mighty God,
Let this holy season continue to be a time of grace
for us and all the world.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
Turn to us, Lord God,
and we shall turn to you. Amen.
Finding More Than Expected
by Rev. Susan Russell
There seems to be a theme to the gospel passages for Lent so far -- where do we find
salvation/transformation ? Where do we meet God? The first week we saw Jesus place himself
-- in response to the Spirit's call -- in a wilderness setting, where something could
happen: and it did. Next we had Nicodemus actively searching it out in the person of
Jesus: finding more than he expected to find and being transformed as a result. This
morning -- in the story of the Woman at the Well -- we see that God may come to us - when
and where we least expect it -- even if we don't believe it's possible anymore.
First of all, a little context. This was not just A woman at the well: this was a
SAMARITAN woman. To our cultural ears, that doesn't mean much. Related to the "Good
Samaritan" perhaps? Isn't there a hospital named after him downtown?
But for the hearers of John's gospel -- the audience for whom he wrote -- these were
code words for the bad guys, the worst of the bad: lowest of the low. It was an old feud
between the Jews and Samaritans ... the worst kind: between relatives. Cousins. Inheritors
of the same covenant -- children of the same Yahweh.
What divided them? Whatever had started it, it had become about the he burning question
of where to find the divinely appointed site for the central worship and sacrifice of the
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