Dear Partners in Mission:
In this lectionary year during Lent we are treated to wonderful (and often long) stories from John’s Gospel. Stories that often take place in situations or with people on the edges, the margins. This past Sunday was no different. Jesus’ encounter with the woman at the well is a dramatic tale of God’s engagement with real people in real situations. For whatever reasons this is a woman who knows what it is to live with loss. Who is willing to talk back and engage Jesus about his theological convictions over worship. Whose confession of faith about the coming of the Messiah leads Christ to say those powerful words “Ego eimi” or “I am (he).” Hearkening back to God’s encounter with Moses at the burning bush.
In this Lenten season we are, as I noted last week, invited to reflect on our griefs and losses. The reality of sin and the brokenness it brings into our lives. And yet right here, in the midst of Lent, we are given a drink of living water. Hearing again of our God who engages us where we are, and in baptism offers us the living water of identity as children of God and inheritors of eternal life. An identity that cannot be taken away but instead continues to enliven and enlighten us. The living Word of God who has come in the person of Jesus Christ.
In reading this I am reminded of Luther’s Small Catechism and his thoughts on baptism. When he asks, “How can water do such great things?” And of the course the answer is, it isn’t just the water, but as that woman at the well so many years ago experienced, it is water with the living Word of God that does it. That then, like her, sends us forth to tell others of this Good News.
So be encouraged in your Lenten season. As you Do Lent I pray it can be a time of honest reflection as well as a reminder of what God has done in and for us and that we are called to invite others to as well.
In Mission Together: