Monday, February 25, 2013

A Couple of Things

Monday, February 25, 2013 -- Week of Lent 2 (Year One)
John Roberts, Priest, 1949

[Go to http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html for an online version of the Daily Office including today's scripture readings.]

Today's Readings for the Daily Office
     (Book of Common Prayer, p. 952)
Psalms        56, 57, [58] (morning)     //       64, 65 (evening)
Jeremiah 1:11-19
Romans 1:1-15
John 4:27-42

Here are a couple of interesting little details from today's gospel reading.

First, in this little epilogue from the wonderful story of Jesus' encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well, it seems interesting that she leaves her water jar right there at the well as she returns to the city.  She is a woman who is coming at the hottest time of the day to get water.  Maybe that is because of some remarkable need, or maybe it is because she is shunned and ostracized because of her past, and so she avoids the well in the cooler morning when many other women would be present.  In an arid climate, her errands is crucial.  Water is essential and precious.

Her conversation with Jesus focused on water as a metaphor for his gift of eternal life -- a life that quenches our deepest thirsts.  In Jesus she finds life-giving water.  Then she leaves, not needing the water jar, and she speaks to her community of the mysterious man she has met. 

Maybe her leaving the water jar behind is a metaphor for her leaving behind the hurt and guilt of her past.  Maybe it is a sign of her being fulfilled and quenched with new refreshment.  What freedom she must have felt!  Maybe she will no longer need to lug that heavy jar at mid-day, symbol of all of her burdens.

The other little thing that caught my attention was that Jesus stayed two days in the Samaritan village.  That's remarkable.  Jewish travelers going from Galilee to Jerusalem customarily would go to great lengths to avoid traveling through Samaria, crossing the Jordan into another country, making a long, circuitous route rather than taking the direct road through Samaria.  They were avoiding not only the ritual uncleanness that incurred over having an encounter with the Samaritans, but they were also avoiding the frequent inhospitable clashes and hostilities that commonly flared between Jews and Samaritans.  A proper Rabbi would never stay two days in Samaria. 

The story is another sign of Jesus' remarkable willingness to reach beyond cultural, religious and moral barriers to connect compassionately with human beings of diverse circumstance.  


Lowell
________



Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Go to: http://www.stpaulsfay.org/id244.html

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at http://www.missionstclare.com/english/index.html

Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at www.stpaulsfay.org

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas

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