March 19, 2017
Bible Reference: John 4
I. Welcome: Good Morning girls and boys! I am so happy to see you all this morning! Do we have any new friends with us? (Welcome new friends.)
II. Church Practice:
The cloth on our Children’s Chapel altar is purple because we are in the third week of the season of Lent. Who would like to move the arrow on our liturgical calendar? (Allow one child to come up to the calendar to move the arrow forward one week.) The arrow is now pointing to the third purple square which is the same color as the cloth that we have on our altar. You will also notice that in big church we the altar frontal, church dressings, and clergy stoles are purple. (light altar candles) We light these candles to remind us that Christ is the light of the world. We remember that God is always with us, that Jesus lives in our hearts and that we are inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit. Before we begin our Bible lesson today, let us pray.
III. Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, we are here to worship and praise you. Open our hearts and minds so that we may hear your words spoken to us through the Bible story today. During this season of Lent draw us near to you and give us strength that we may serve you through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives, and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
IV. Introduction: During the season of Lent we remember the time Jesus spent in the desert for 40 days and nights. We remember too that Jesus was tempted in the desert, but that he turned away from temptation trusting in God alone. During this special time in the church year, we practice turning away from the temptations of the world and looking towards God knowing that we alone can not help ourselves. We know that even though Lent is only 40 days long, turning towards God instead of relying on our own selves or giving in to the ways of the world is something that we practice all year long for as long as we live. The season of Lent reminds us that we always need God and that he help comes from him alone. We are reminded too that it is through Jesus and his death on the cross that we were given everlasting life with God.
Today in our Bible story, we will hear a story about a Samaritan woman who met Jesus when she was going to get water at a well. In the time that Jesus lived, a Samaritan person and a Jewish person, like Jesus, would not have talked or been even seen in the same place together. In the story the Samaritan woman is surprised by Jesus. Let’s listen and find out why.
V. Bible Story: John 4 (The Woman at the Well)
Jesus and his disciples were traveling together. They came to a well in Samaria. Jesus was tired. He sat by the well while his disciples went to buy food. Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Please give me a drink.” The woman was surprised because Jews often refused to have anything to do with Samaritans. She said to Jesus, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. Why are you asking me for a drink?” Jesus replied, “If you only knew the gift God has for you and who I am; you would ask me and I would give you living water.” The women said, “But sir, you don’t have a rope or a bucket. This is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water?” Jesus replied, “People soon become thirsty again after drinking this water. But the water I give them takes away their thirst. It gives them eternal life.” Jesus told her the poor choices she had made in her past. The woman said to Jesus, “You must be a prophet. How else would you know these things about me? I know the Messiah will come – the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus told her, “I am the Messiah.” The woman became so excited she left her water jar beside the well. Then she understood and believed Jesus. She rushed into the village to tell others. So the people went to see Jesus the Messiah, the Giver of Living Water.
VI. Response: When the Samaritan woman went to the well to get water she was surprised when Jesus spoke to her. It was very unusual for a Jewish person to speak to a Samaritan. Jesus not only spoke to her but was kind and told her of things that she had done in her past that no one else knew of because she was ashamed. At first the Samaritan woman was scared, but she asked Jesus, “Why are you asking me for a drink? How do you know of what I have done in the past?” Jesus gently told the woman that God loved her and had that Jesus was there to give her living water from the Father. Jesus further told the woman that the water that came from the well was only a temporary relief from thirst but that the water he knew of would take away thirst forever. The Samaritan woman immediately thought that Jesus must be a wise person or a prophet. She told him that she knew that the Messiah or savior would come. Jesus told the woman that he indeed was the Messiah who had come to give living water.
I wonder what exactly Jesus meant by “living water?” When we are thirsty we drink water to take away our thirst. Water is essential to keeping us alive. When Jesus told the woman at the well that he came to give water that would give eternal life, he meant that he had come so that we could all have life everlasting with God. Thirst is not only something that comes from needing water. We also thirst for love, for hope, for peace. These things that we thirst for will never be satisfied by things of this world. During the season of Lent we remember that Jesus came and lived among us and died upon the cross so that we may have our thirst for love and hope and peace, always satisfied through him as we turn our eyes towards God and trust in him. Let us pray:
VII. Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank you for the gift of your son Jesus who lived among us and who died upon the cross so that we may have living water through him. We look to things of the world and ourselves to satisfy our needs. Help us to turn our eyes towards you so that we may remember that you are always with us and that is only through you that our thirst for love, hope and peace is satisfied. Amen.