I’m back! Still a bit sore and a bit limited in what I can do driving/lifting wise but so happy to be back with you on the zoom groups and here writing letters. I’ve had a lot of time to be still before God and to read and listen and think and want to share with you today and over the coming weeks where my thoughts have led me.
The one word that has come back to me over and over again (and you would see it written in my journal over and over again if you read it!) is the word ‘more’. At the beginning of 2020, our church looked at the passage from Ephesians which talks about us knowing the height, length, breadth and depth of God’s love and ends with the acknowledgement that God can do immeasurably more than all we can ask or imagine.
This ‘more’ that’s been on my mind, though, is not about what God can do but what he has to give us. There are a few passages in the bible that I’ve read through and studied over this time and will share with you over next few weeks.
Today, I want us to sit for a couple of minutes at Jacob’s Well in Samaria.
Just for context, we find that the Pharisees have tried to pit Jesus and John the Baptist up against each other in terms of how many people they are each baptizing in Judea and so Jesus leaves and heads back for Galilee. This passage comes from the Message version of John chapter 4 starting at verse 6. It’s worth reading the whole passage but I’m going to just share until verse 15 today.
4-6 To get there, he had to pass through Samaria. He came into Sychar, a Samaritan village that bordered the field Jacob had given his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was still there. Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon.7-8 A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water. Jesus said, “Would you give me a drink of water?” (His disciples had gone to the village to buy food for lunch.)9 The Samaritan woman, taken aback, asked, “How come you, a Jew, are asking me, a Samaritan woman, for a drink?” (Jews in those days wouldn’t be caught dead talking to Samaritans.)10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”11-12 The woman said, “Sir, you don’t even have a bucket to draw with, and this well is deep. So how are you going to get this ‘living water’? Are you a better man than our ancestor Jacob, who dug this well and drank from it, he and his sons and livestock, and passed it down to us?”13-14 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks this water will get thirsty again and again. Anyone who drinks the water I give will never thirst—not ever. The water I give will be an artesian spring within, gushing fountains of endless life.”15 The woman said, “Sir, give me this water so I won’t ever get thirsty, won’t ever have to come back to this well again!”
Here is Jesus, a man and a Jew asking for a drink from a Samaritan and a woman. It just didn’t happen. Not until Jesus came with his plan not to turn the world upside down but to turn the world the right way up again!
Jesus is tired and thirsty and needs a drink of water and so he asks for a drink which leads into this wonderful conversation and eventually a whole town being reached for the Kingdom of God. There is so much in this account that we could talk about but today I simply want to ask you a question.
Are you thirsty?
When Jesus is challenged by the woman for daring to ask him for a drink, he says to her, “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.”
We have a generous God, folks, and he wants to give us more. I don’t know about you, but this period of lockdown has sometimes felt really dry as we just try to get through each day of life being not as we want it to be, and I am thirsty. This well of water springing up to eternal life has sometimes felt a little bit like a trickle that doesn’t even get over my toes. The thing is, that’s not down to God. He wants to pour his love, his blessing, his power, his hope, his Holy Spirit onto us with such pressure that it overflows and we can’t help but speak it out and live it out. We have to be asking though and in order to ask, we have to recognise that we need it and decide that we want it.
I’m reminded of the words of a song which I want to leave with you today as you begin to consider the ‘more’ of God. Over this period of Covid, we have seen people rise up to make a difference to those around them. Food banks and community care schemes and all kinds of lovely things have sprung up to look after and provide for those who are struggling. This song says that if mere humans are able to do this stuff, how much more is God willing to forgive and provide for us.
If human hearts are often tender,
And human minds can pity know,
If human love is touched with splendour,
And human hands compassion show,
If sometimes men can live for others,
And sometimes give where gifts are spurned,
If sometimes treat their foes as brothers,
And love where love is not returned,
If men will often share their gladness,
If men respond when children cry,
If men can feel each other’s sadness,
Each other’s tears attempt to dry,
Then how much more shall God our Father
In love forgive, in love forgive!
Then how much more shall God our Father
Our wants supply, and none deny!
Do you want more? Are you thirsty?
My prayer for all of us is that we decide together that we want more of all that God wants to give us and that, as we learn to receive it, it will flow from us and the Kingdom of God will grow!