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Third Sunday in Lent

"...those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."     Jn 4:14

Texts & Discussion:
Exodus 17:1-7
Psalm 95
Romans 5:1-11
John 4:5-42

 

This Week's Themes:

Don't quarrel-be faithful!

God's Grace and Our Justification
Jesus--Living Water

     Song Suggestion for St. Patrick's Day:

 

 


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
of praise!

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.

            

Children's Messages:


Sermons

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Sermon Excerpt

Finding More Than Expected
John 4:1-42
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 religion Israel. It all hung on how certain passages of the Scripture were interpreted: the Samaritans believed the temple should be at Mt. Gerizim ... Jews, in Jerusalem. Samaritans pointed to verses, which made a case for their argument: Jews to ones, which did the same for theirs. Further, the Samaritans accepted only what we call the Pentateuch as BEING scripture -- they rejected all the rest of what we know as the Old Testament: the later revelations of God to the people of Israel through the prophets.

Samaritans considered themselves the purists: the traditionalists. It was the Jews who were the revisionists.

So, in the time of our Lord, both Jews and Samaritans firmly believed their own form of the text was the right one: and the vested interests on either side were fiercely defended.

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