Water is Life
Mni Wiconi: how to pronounce “minee wichonee” & a bit about it in current events.
Some fun facts about this water that is life (from the EPA):
- There is the same amount of water on Earth as there was when the Earth was formed.
- Water is composed of two elements, Hydrogen and Oxygen. H20
- Nearly 97% of the world’s water is salty or otherwise undrinkable. Another 2% is locked in ice caps and glaciers. That leaves just 1% for all of humanity’s needs — all its agricultural, residential, manufacturing, community, and personal needs.
- Water regulates the Earth’s temperature. It also regulates the temperature of the human body, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells, cushions joints, protects organs & tissues, & removes wastes.
- 75% of the human brain is water and 75% of a living tree is water.
- A person can live about a month without food, but only about a week without water.
- The average total home water use for each person in the U.S. is about 50 gallons a day.
- The average cost for water supplied to a home in the U.S. is about $2.00 for 1,000 gallons, which equals about 5 gallons for a penny.
- Water expands by 9% when it freezes. Frozen water (ice) is lighter than water, which is why ice floats in water.
From “Water is Life” to the “Water of Life”
Water is a fragile resource & a very real need for life. Even for Jesus.
Look … Jesus requested water for his embodied human life.
Jesus, tired out by his journey … said to her, “Give me a drink.”
But then … Jesus offered water for the eternal spiritual life.
“If you knew … you would have asked him, & he would have given you living water.”
And we see … Like our friend Nicodemus from last week,
the woman at the well was puzzled by Jesus’ words.
“Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?”
Understanding the Fragility & Need for Water
We too…much like we don’t grasp the fragility & need for physical water
We also don’t grasp the fragility & need for spiritual water.
We too … much like the woman surviving/enjoying her life w/5 husbands
We also go about life focused on survival & enjoyment. We got this.
We too … much like the woman who aches & longs for something more,
We also ache & long for something more; something better.
We too … much like the woman who seeks comfort in the wrong places
We also seek comfort in things temporary & can’t quench our thirst
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,
but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty.”
Jesus meets us at the very point of our deep thirst
When Jesus met this woman at a well, in Samaria, at mid-day, and alone;
he met her at her place of deepest thirst and need.
The well – water is an immediate and necessary need for human life.
Jesus met her at the place of her #1 physical/material need/survival
The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Samaria – Samaritans are a rejected and hated people to the Israelites.
Jesus met her at the place of her people’s cultural rejection.
“How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)
Mid-Day – Women w/5 husbands don’t get to gather water at morning.
Jesus met her at the place of her personal/social rejection/isolation.
The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “… you have had five husbands, & the one you have now is not your husband.
Alone – Neither of them brought anyone who would prevent connection
Jesus met her in a way that allowed for an unexpected connection.
“[The disciples] were astonished that he was speaking with a woman”
Deepest Thirst & Need – She struggled with a thirst she didn’t recognize.
Jesus met her with living water where she was drawing plain water.
Jesus created in her a spring of living water /a flood of eternal life.
Jesus said to her, “The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
A Wellspring of Living Water
Jesus traveled the entire distance just to meet this nameless woman,
from a despised tribe, with a despised reputation exactly at the point of her deepest, most unquenched thirst, and most desperate unknown need.
Jesus created in her a wellspring of living water … water of life … for her entire community; maybe even her entire tribe of people … eternal life.
Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said … “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! … “Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony … And many more believed because of his word …They said to the woman, “… we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
It would seem that the living water that Jesus promised this woman, is the word she carried to her community, her tribe; the word that caused her to forget her physical need and leave her water jar behind; the word that caused a rejected and lifeless people to recognize the Messiah.
Let us also be bearers of this living water!
We are the followers of that rabbi; that messiah; that Lord.
We are his ‘sent ones’, who set our jars down & go the entire distance, to meet our neighbors exactly at the point of their deepest,
most unquenched thirst, and most desperate, even unknown, need;
not stopping to judge their worthiness or value first, but rather serving living water to every single one we can, wherever they are. Mni Wiconi.