It’s only a week till publication day – 18th January. It is a strange that these thoughts that have been circling round my head for quite a few years now, will soon be released, to make their own way in the world, launched. They will have different work to do then, and will be enriched by the responses of those who read them.
I’ve already shared with you some of my thinking on this chapter in the Sunday Retold series – a while ago now. You can read that here. If you do, you will find some suggestions which have become items in the Reflection and Response section of the chapter, and get a flavour of that, too.
Although we tend not to notice in our translations, it seems to me very significant that the first time John records Jesus saying I Am is here, in Samaria, to someone outside our usual narrative of God’s favour.
So, here is a small snippet from the story of the unnamed woman who met Jesus in the heat of the day.
Perhaps she will come to see that Jesus is the gift, and he has living water. We are going deeper now. Living, life-giving, flowing water in a hot land, to a parched and weary soul, is life itself. It is a daily necessity and a joy. We know that in John, there is often an association between water and Spirit. Jesus’ previous encounter, with Nicodemus, reveals that. The Spirit can be to us as water on a parched land, softening, enlivening, refreshing and freeing the seeds locked in dry husks, so they grow and flourish and flower.
This encounter, which stared with a request for water, has become the source, the spring, of transformation that changed a whole community. Jesus gives value to a person, and to a whole people, who were despised. Here, in the heat of the day, they were offered fresh, life-giving water. And they drank from this new well
If you’d like a copy, you can ask your local bookshop, or order online.
Here are a few suggestions: