Tuesday, March 18, 2014

John 4:5-42

Year A - Third Sunday in Lent or Conviction [3]
March 23, 2014

Imagine Jesus tired—too tired to draw a drink. Was that act beneath him (disciples had gone on to get food, women had often waited upon the whole group—where were the groupies this time) or was he simply tired?

Jesus’ demand of a drink points in the direction of privilege (Male and Jewish trumping Samaritan Female). His play on well-water and living-water points toward a teaching opportunity. Tricky business, this business of engaging after-the-fact scriptures.

Adding to the trickiness and to emphasize that this is one of John’s theologically based vignettes is this from The New Interpreter’s Dictionary on Sychar: 
Although this area is rich with natural water resources—a detail that is relevant to John’s story—the location of ancient Sychar is problematic. Since Shechem was destroyed in 107 BCE, it is difficult to directly associate Sychar with a city in ruins in the 1st cent. CE. The city of Napolis, built near the end of the 1st cent. CE, is not a viable candidate either. Since the mid-19th cent., Khirbet Askar has been considered a likely location for Sychar because of its location a half mile from the well, but no archeological evidence supports this identification.

One thing this does is to open up this story to all times. How does this shed light (traditional name of the woman is Photina [light]) into your life and how do you shed light into the lives of others?

Has your life finally been revealed to you? Are you interested in still waters [harbor] or living, roiled [a-sea], waters? Yes, both are needed in a long journey, but where is your passion?

One last comment about the two days Jesus stayed with the Samaritans (creedally like descending to the dead). If the third day is a resurrection day, then then the two-days are a Lenten season and it is the people who are raised to new life on the third day as Jesus journeys onward to a next harbor.

How do you spin this story into your current time and place?

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