Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Woman at the Well, and all That

Maybe it was a wave that started yesterday when I met with seven of the 5th graders who are preparing for first communion.  One of them is also preparing for his baptism.  Two more young people are preparing on their own, as they were out of town this weekend.  They got some materials and started studying on their own.

I walked into worship and saw one of my old worship professors sitting in a pew.  "What are you doing here?" he asked me.  Seriously.  I've been serving here for several years.  He was here to observe our interim organist, who's in a degree program at our local seminary.  All of a sudden I was all in a dither, more nervous than usual, even though I wasn't being observed. 

So, worship today:  I preached.  My sermon title:  "Give me a drink," and how Jesus' request becomes the woman's request, his thirst reveals our thirst.  It's such a great story, and so rich, I wanted to keep the sermon pretty simple.  I hope I succeeded. 

At the second service, I had the children come up and told them about wells and water jugs.  One of my points was that a water jar would have been heavy.  So I had a big pitcher filled with water, and had them try to pick it up.  I myself thought the picture was pretty heavy, but the five year old boy who tried it thought it was not heavy at all.  Oh, well.

I seriously underestimated the time it might take to give every child a small cup of water (after all these years!), but thought at the last minute to just have the people start singing the song, and continue pouring water.

At the second service, I poured water into the baptismal font during the last paragraph of my sermon, while I said,

"If you had known the gift of God, and who it was that was asking you, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water -- gushing up to eternal life, running down over your face, running down into your life.  He is the water that covers us, that gives us life, day after day.  He is the water that refreshes us at the top of the day, that cleanses us, that makes us new.  give us a drink."

During communion at the second service, the congregation sang the chorus "Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord" while our Spirit Singers choir sang the verses.  I can't even describe the sense of well-being I felt from hearing that.

(after worship I bought popcorn from the Boy Scouts, met with a couple preparing for their wedding, visited my mother-in-law in the hospital). 

Taste and see, taste and see the goodness of the Lord

I keep thinking about the people who were there, and the people who were not there.  I know that some people are on spring break, and some people are traveling, and there are many reasons for not being around on one particular Sunday or another.  And I know that some people come to worship and they find it a place where there is bread for the journey, and the water of life, and others think it's boring, or perplexing, or a waste of a perfectly good Sunday morning.  I take that seriously, by the way. 


Di said...

"It's such a great story, and so rich, I wanted to keep the sermon pretty simple."

I really love that about you.

8thdayplanner said...

. . .and some people, like myself, will never sit in a pew again, but throughly enjoy and are enriched by reading your words.

Thank you.