Refreshing water

This is one of a series of short reflections that can be used by individuals or small groups. It may be worth considering keeping a journal to make notes as you use each reflection.

This session explores a passage in John’s Gospel where Jesus asks for a drink but he has a drink to give surpassing all imagination, the water of the Holy Spirit.

Settling in.
Spend a few moments to prepare to be open to receive from God during this reflection.
You may consider putting your phone on silent for a while. Light a candle. Get comfortable.
For the start of this session we suggest having a cold, refreshing drink with you. Maybe sparkling water or something similar.

Opening worship. Listen to this song

Pray:  God in Christ gives us water welling up for eternal life.
With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.
Lord, give us this water and we shall thirst no more.

Read: John 4:1-15 (Word on the Street)

Jesus goes back to Galilee via the region of the Samaritans (long-term second-rate cousins of the true Jews). Around midday Jesus sits down by a well, pooped by the long walk. A local woman comes to get water and Jesus asks her for a drink. She’s shocked. One: she’s a Samaritan. Two: she’s a woman. And he talks to her!
Jesus comes back with, “If you had the first clue about the freebies God’s got for you; if you had any idea who I am – you’d be asking me to get you a drink.”
She’s not catching his drift, so Jesus gets a little less ambiguous.
Jesus says, “You drink from this well, you’ll be back here tomorrow gasping again. You drink from the water I’ve got to give you and you’ll not need anything else. It’ll be like a well inside you, springing up and bubbling over with limitless life.She says, “I’ll have some of that”!

Think of as many examples as possible that water occurs or is mentioned in the Bible or in church life. (There are 627 references to water in the Bible, and 89 references from Common Worship – so there should be a long list!)

Make a list of the ways that we use water in our lives.

Bible Study

Read again John 4: 1-14

For the Samaritan woman, there is a sense that life was unfulfilling. She had a string of relationships (she had been married 5 times and was now living with a new partner). Jesus gets her to look at her life and reflect on the important things.

Reflect about ways in which life can at times feel empty.

What gives your life meaning and purpose?

What sometimes can get in the way of these things?

Film: Watch this Nooma – Corner from Rob Bell

  • reflection

Reflect about what this film has to say in relation to the Samaritan woman.

Consider again the significance of water for the Samaritan woman.

What do you think it really represents?

How does this apply to our own lives?

  • Closing Worship

Put your papers down, settle into your seat, close your eyes and settle your breathing.
Listen again to the song at the start of the session.

At the end say:
God of the living water,
we praise you.
God of the living water,
we give you thanks,
for you alone can quench our thirst.
God of the living water,
we worship and adore you:
for you are found
in the places where others do not go.
You are found
by the well of our sin.
You are found in our hearts and our lives,
where your love and your living water
have refreshed, renewed and cleansed us.
Lord of the living water we sit at your feet today.

This is part of a series originally compiled by Bob Callaghan and Alison Spreadbridge for St Edmund’s Church, Dartford.

Still figuring out what being a disciple might mean. Anglican priest and cyclist. One of the founders and editors of New Roots - partly as a way of hanging on in there!

Leave a Reply