Guest Post: Fr. Michael Merriman
This Sunday we hear from Exodus of God’s people desiring water to quench their thirst in the Wilderness of Sin and God’s gift to them of water from the rock.
This photo from a video is from the probable location of that event. After far away rain events, the seemingly dry river springs to life. Perhaps the inspiration for the story from the Book of Exodus.
We also hear about Jesus meeting with a Samaritan woman at a well at mid-day where he asks for water to quench his thirst. In this simple human expression of need, Jesus, God with us, breaks down the barriers that culture and religion erected between them: man speaking to strange woman, Jew speaking to a Samaritan, rabbi speaking to a woman whose marital life was (in her society) a disgrace.
And this Sunday, we continue in our sermons to explore the Lord’s Prayer. This Sunday,” give us today our daily bread.”
Human beings are hungry and thirsty. Most humans today and throughout history have had to spend the greatest part of their waking hours just seeking enough food for that day (something most Americans don’t have to worry about). And in drier climates, ensuring they have enough water to keep them alive.
In Lent we are reminded in many ways, but especially in our Scripture readings, hymn, and prayers, of the needs human beings have. And at the heart of all our needs is our need for God. For what do you and I thirst? For what do you and I hunger?
The great teachers of spirituality in all religions and in all of recorded human history, have seen physical thirst and hunger as metaphors for our thirst and hunger for meaning, for justice, for healing, for forgiveness and reconciliation.
Sometimes, we, like the ancient Israelites in Exodus 17, rail against God because we doubt that God hears us and can grant us our needs. Sometimes, we, like the Samaritan Woman in John 4, find in the living water that comes from Christ, new meaning, renewed community, and a vocation to tell others what God has done for us through Jesus Christ.
May we all be filled with the Bread of Life and the Living Water during this our Exodus Journey through Lent, toward the joy of Easter.