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.
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
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 religion Israel...