What a strange place we found Elfie in this morning! He was tucked up in the water and ice dispenser of the refrigerator as if he was getting a nice cold drink of water. The boys found this to be particularly funny this morning and they cackled over him for at least 15-20 minutes. In his little bag Elfie brought us a small water pot craft and a passage from John chapter 4:
5 He came to a town in Samaria called Sychar. It was near the piece of land Jacob had given his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there. Jesus was tired from the journey. So he sat down by the well. It was about noon.
7 A woman from Samaria came to get some water. Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew. I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” She said this because Jews don’t have anything to do with Samaritans.
10 Jesus answered her, “You do not know what God’s gift is. And you do not know who is asking you for a drink. If you did, you would have asked him. He would have given you living water.”
11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you don’t have anything to get water with. The well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Our father Jacob gave us the well. He drank from it himself. So did his sons and his livestock. Are you more important than he is?”
13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. 14 But anyone who drinks the water I give them will never be thirsty. In fact, the water I give them will become a spring of water in them. It will flow up into eternal life.”
15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water. Then I will never be thirsty. And I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.”
16 He told her, “Go. Get your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.
Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands. And the man you live with now is not your husband. What you have just said is very true.”
19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our people have always worshiped on this mountain. But you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”
21 Jesus said, “Woman, believe me. A time is coming when you will not worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know. We worship what we do know. Salvation comes from the Jews. 23 But a new time is coming. In fact, it is already here. True worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth. They are the kind of worshipers the Father is looking for. 24 God is spirit. His worshipers must worship him in the Spirit and in truth.”
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah is coming.” Messiah means Christ. “When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”
26 Then Jesus said, “The one you’re talking about is the one speaking to you. I am he.”
27 Just then Jesus’ disciples returned. They were surprised to find him talking with a woman. But no one asked, “What do you want from her?” No one asked, “Why are you talking with her?”
28 The woman left her water jar and went back to the town. She said to the people, 29 “Come. See a man who told me everything I’ve ever done. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 The people came out of the town and made their way toward Jesus.
This one was a little tough to keep the boys’ attention spans on since it was a bit of a longer passage than what we have been reading. My next challenge came from deciding which lesson I wanted them to walk away with from this story. There are so many different ways to look at this and directions to learn from. We decided to talk about two parts of the story for time and attention sake. The first was that Jesus met this lady and He asked her for a drink from the well. The first really cool thing is that even though He had never met her, He knew everything about her. He knew that she had 5 husbands and that she was living with a man out-of-wedlock currently. First off, God knows everything about us. Even the things we don’t want Him to know! I asked the boys if that scared them that there were no secrets from Jesus? Of course at their age they don’t have many skeletons in their closets, yet. But for us grown ups this can really be a scary thing right? I am sure this lady wasn’t proud of her situation and probably didn’t really care for others to know all about it. My favorite part is that Jesus knows all her dirty laundry……and He loved her despite it. Jesus knows us better than anyone else ever could….even better than mommy and daddy! No matter what we do, or say, or where we come from, or how far we stray from Him, He still loves us.
Next I attempted to explain to the boys what Jesus meant when He said that He could give her “living water”. To just be honest with you, I think I explained this 5 times and I received a blank stare in return. So we settled for living water meaning that when we take Jesus in our hearts, as in drinking living water, we receive eternal life with Him. Sounds about right, right?
Finally, Jesus and the woman talk about where they are to worship. Now my boys have a mom that loves to sing so they knew the answer to this one right away. “We worship everywhere!” was their answer. Insert big mommy smile. I asked them what type of places we worship? They had answers like, in the van, at church, bath time, in the school room, while mommy is cooking……you get the idea? Jesus was telling this woman, it does not matter where a person worships or what they call themselves. It only matters how they worship. Your worship must be spiritual, genuine…… real.
All this talk about living waters got my humming an 90s tune in my head by the Gather Vocal Band. Hope you will check it out by clicking here: Living Water
Have you ever walked through a burnin’ dusty desert
Where the sun beats down and scorches your soul?
And have you ever knelt and prayed to God for mercy
‘Cause you don’t know how much farther you can go?
Well, there’s a place of rest just over that horizion.
When I’m tired and thirsty, that’s where I go.
All I really need is a taste of that refreshing
From the spring of life where living water flows,
I’m goin’ back to the source of living water.
That abundant supply will never run dry.
When I get to feelin’ dry and thirsty down in my soul,
I just go back to where the living water flows.
On the road of life, sometimes I get discouraged,
And I start to wonder if I’ve lost my way.
Did I make the right decision at the crossroads,
Or should I take the road that’s better paved?
Well, then I hear the sound of cool, clear rushing water
Like a mountain stream runnin’ right through my soul,
And I know that ev’ry mile has been rewarded
By the cup of living water that I hold.