December 07, 2011 - How was your Thanksgiving dinner? Did you spend it with family, friends and other relatives?
Regardless, I venture to say that you ate quite a bit of food. My wife and I went to both of our family's homes for the holiday and ate a meal and desert at each place and by the time we finished the day, we didn't think we would ever look at food again the same way as before.
But just as is the case every other year, we awoke the next morning to growling stomachs, reminding us that we needed to eat once again.
Somehow all of the sweet potatoes with melted marshmallows on top, the stuffing and mashed potatoes, and all of the turkey (not to mention the desserts!) did not fill us up to the point of never needing to eat again. Why? Because we need food – we need nourishment.
The same was the case as Jesus sat down with a Samaritan woman during the daytime as she had come to a well to draw water for her family.
Knowing her situation as only Jesus could, he asked if she could give him a drink from the well; an odd question for a Jewish man to ask a Samaritan woman for many reasons.
First of all, Jews and Samaritans did not associate with one another; the Jews believed the Samaritans to be a lesser important group of people and therefore did their best to stay away from them at all cost.
Secondly, it was against the custom of the day for a Jewish man to associate alone with a woman; after all, what would people think if they were to see this encounter play out from afar?
But Jesus had a bigger purpose. When the Samaritan woman questioned her qualifications to even associate with Jesus, he simply tells her that if she knew who he was, she would ask him for a drink and "he would have given [her] living water" (John 4:10b)
In other words, if she had any idea who Jesus was, she would seek out what he had to offer her – life giving water that quenches thirst to the point of never needing anything else. Jesus would have offered her a life that was more fulfilling and enriching than anything she could have ever dreamed of.
You see unlike Thanksgiving meals and family get-togethers that hold the possibility of leaving you depressed and uncomfortably full, only to be hungry again in a few hours, Jesus offers something that fills eternally the need in our life for relationship with God.
In verse 13 Jesus responds saying, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
Are you left "hungry" this week after Thanksgiving? Are you left with a pit in your stomach after a day of dining and sharing life with family?
Jesus has the solution – him! Whether it is a relationship in your life that is leaving you wanting more, a failed attempt at success after a life of climbing the corporate ladder, or the bottle at the bar that ultimately leaves you wanting more, Jesus offers life-giving "water" that will never leave you thirsty…never leave you wanting anything else.
My question is, are you hungry/thirsty today? If you don't have a church home, I would like to personally invite you to worship with us at Lake Louise Church of the Nazarene, 2300 S. Ortonville Road just south of Bullfrogs.
During this Advent season, we are preparing our hearts to celebrate the birth of Christ and I would love the opportunity to share that time with you and your family. May God richly bless you and your family this Christmas and New Year!
The Rev. Matt Bailey is pastor of Lake Louise Church of the Nazarene.