February 24, 2008

Exodus 17:1-7Psalm 95Romans 5:1-11John 4:5-42 As we continue our journey through the season of Lent, Year A (the first year of the 3-year lectionary cycle) gives us a long, elaborate story from John’s Gospel each Sunday. Last week it was the story of the Jewish leader, Nicodemus, being told by Jesus that he needed to be born from above. And today, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman beside a well, as he is travelling by the city of Sychar. Last week we paid attention to the way that John’s Jesus used confusing language. When he told Nicodemus that he had to be born “anothen” in order to see the Kingdom of God, the Greek word “anothen” could have meant “again” (as Nicodemus assumed) or “from above” (the more spiritual meaning that Jesus actually intended.) The major theme of John’s Gospel is about how people come to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Saviour of the world. At the end of chapter 20, the purpose of the Gospel is made plain: “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.” And the detailed stories of Jesus’ various encounters each give insight into both the identity of Jesus and the process of coming to believe in and have faith … Read more »

March 27, 2011

John 4:5-42 Did you know that Tuesday, March 22nd was the international World Water Day? I didn’t know that it was until yesterday when the day had already passed. But marking World Water Day a few days late is probably better than not marking it at all. The purpose of the day is simple – to raise awareness about the achievements made and the challenges faced in ensuring people around the world have access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation. I hate to admit it, but I went down to Regina on Friday afternoon with our Synod Youth group, and I complained about the tap water. I’m not the kind of person who ever bothers with bottled water. Tap water is fine. But I suddenly realized that I’d become accustomed to some pretty fine tasting tap water here in Saskatoon. Just brushing my teeth with the Regina water was unappealing, let alone actually drinking it. And that is good, fresh, treated water that is perfectly safe to drink. Even the people of Regina have it pretty good! Clean water is essential to life, yet over a billion people around the world still do not have adequate or sustainable access to safe water or proper sanitation facilities. A lack of sanitation and clean drinking water leads to serious health problems such as cholera, diarrhea, scabies and malaria. In many developing countries, women and children are responsible for collecting water from wells or streams that are far away and may not … Read more »

March 23, 2014

Exodus 17:1-7 John 4:5-42 “Spiritual Food and Drink” As we continue our journey through the season of Lent, Year A (the first year of the 3-year lectionary cycle) gives us a long, elaborate story from John’s Gospel each Sunday. Last week it was the story of the Jewish leader, Nicodemus, being told by Jesus that he needed to be born from above. And today, Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman beside a well, as he is travelling by the city of Sychar. Last week we paid attention to the way that John’s Jesus used confusing language. When he told Nicodemus that he had to be born “anothen” in order to see the Kingdom of God, the Greek word “anothen” could have meant “again” (as Nicodemus assumed) or “from above” (the more spiritual meaning that Jesus actually intended.) The major theme of John’s Gospel is about how people come to believe in Jesus as the Son of God and Saviour of the world – how they come to realize who he really is. And the detailed stories of Jesus’ various encounters each give insight into both the identity of Jesus and the process of coming to believe in and have faith in him. The struggle for the Jewish Christians of the late first century (from whose community John’s Gospel came) was the fact that there were other Jews who had rejected the Messiah-ship of Jesus. The Jewish followers of the way had been kicked out of the synagogues by their friends who … Read more »