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                     of Almelund, Minnesota

         

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Living Water

Pastor Marla Amborn

Immanuel Lutheran Church

August 6, 2017

John 4:3-30 and 39-42

 

The sermon began with a first-person monologue from the perspective of the woman at the well, adapted from a skit byTthe Skit Guys. You can see a similar first-person monologue at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sCuoEUNzWf0

 

Sermon

Can you imagine what you would do if you had an encounter with Jesus like this woman? What would you ask him? What would you hope to learn from him? What would you hope would happen from such an up-close and personal encounter with the Messiah? And if he got personal with you, like he did with this woman, what might he tell you about yourself? What secrets might he know? What pain in your life might he seek to heal? What sins in your life might he seek to forgive?

 

One might be fearful of getting so close to God. After all, God knows everything about us – the good, the bad, the ugly. There are no secrets from God. There is no way to hide our sins from God. That can be frightening. We know we have sinned. We know that there are things we could be blamed for and shamed for. We don’t want those secrets announced to the world. Sometimes we don’t even want to face them ourselves.

 

But Jesus didn’t blame this woman or shame this woman. He acknowledged that he knew what had been going on in her life. He knew the truth about her, but he didn’t give her a lecture. Instead he met her in kindness and compassion. He knew her whole story. He knew the painful path her life had taken. He knew her shattered hopes and dreams. He knew her sadness and sorrows.

 

Because he knew her at such a personal level, he understood her as no one else could. He understood all that she had been through. He met her where she was at and offered her what she needed – Living Water.

 

Living Water! It sounds good, but what is it? It seems so mysterious.

 

I have come to think of Living Water God’s Spirit flowing in and through us. It is God’s healing love, cleansing us of all our sins. It is God’s life-giving energy satisfying the thirst of our souls. It is the Holy Spirit, at work in our lives, bringing about refreshment and renewal helping us grow in faith.

 

Water is essential for life. When NASA looks for the possibility of life on another planet, the essential ingredient they hope to find is water. Where there is water, life is possible. No water, no life.

 

When you think about how each of us entered this world, our first home was floating in a sea of life-giving water inside our mothers. Water is our first environment.

 

Each of our bodies is made primarily of water. They say that 70% of our body is water! Water flows through our veins and our tissues, making life possible. A person can only survive a few days without water. We can last close to a month without food. But not without water. Water is essential for life.

 

That is true for our bodies, and it is true for our souls. Our souls need God’s Living Water flowing through them. Our souls need to be cleansed in baptism. Our souls need God’s life-giving energy filling us, flowing through us, refreshing and renewing us. Our souls need to be bathed in God’s love.

 

At Vacation Bible School this week, we focused on the Water of Life. We were reminded of the creation story, of God separating the earth and seas, and bringing forth life from the sea, and filling the earth, and the seas, and the air with creatures of many kinds. We were reminded of baptism and the important role that baptism plays in bringing us into God’s family. We heard this story of the woman at the well, and the Living Water that came to her through Jesus’ outpouring of love. We also heard about the water that healed the blind man. The same water that healed his blindness, heals us all in body and in soul. And finally, we celebrated the Good Shepherd who leads his flock by still waters and green pastures to restore our souls. He ultimately fills our cup to overflowing at that great banqueting table. Goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our life and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

 

Our scripture from Revelation for today picks up where this story leaves off. It is set in the heavenly throne-room where the angel shows John the River of the Water of Life. It is bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God. Through this River of Life flows the Living Water that brings forth fruit trees and healing of the nations. Sweet abundant fruit! Healing for the nations – now and forever. No more fear, no more crying, no more suffering, no more dying.

 

Are you thirsty for this Living Water? Just as he did for the woman at the well, Jesus offers us Living Water. Jesus offers us the Water of Life, water that will satisfy our souls forever. Drink it in. Receive God’s life-giving Spirit within you now and forevermore.

 

Let’s pray: God of life, Shower us in your Living Water. Bring us to new life, fresh and clean. Send your life-giving Spirit to us, so that we might live refreshed and renewed in body and soul. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.