The Celebration of the Gospel
March 19, 2017 —Third Sunday in Lent
How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman—from Samaria?
— John 4.9
_______We Gather as the Body of Christ_______
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child Traditional, arr: Marianne Kim
[As we listen to the music we quiet our minds and bodies,
listen for our hearts’ deepest desires,
and become present to the Holy One who is lovingly present for us.]
* CALL TO WORSHIP
Leader: Everyone who drinks water will be thirsty again.
All: But those who drink of the water that Christ gives us will never be thirsty.
The water that Christ gives will become in us
a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
Christ, give us this water, so that our spirits will never dry up.
We draw from the deep well of your love, O God.
Fill us with your Spirit, for we are thirsty for you.
* SONG Spirit Song Blue hymnal # 347
(10:30) CHILDREN’S TIME
____________We Attend to the Word__________
THE WORD IN SONG Be Thou My Vision arr. Sandra Eithun (Ringtones)
PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of love, we are thirsty for you, thirsty for your love, your blessing, and your presence. We open ourselves to your grace—for you gush forth with the water of life. Renew us with your Word. Amen.
OLD TESTAMENT Exodus 17.1-7
[The Israelites are traveling through the desert after their escape from Egypt. They have no water, but by God’s command Moses strikes a solid rock, and out flows water.]
From the wilderness of Sin the whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.” Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the Lord?” But the people thirsted there for water; and the people complained against Moses and said, “Why did you bring us out of Egypt, to kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?” So Moses cried out to the Lord, “What shall I do with this people? They are almost ready to stone me.” The Lord said to Moses, “Go on ahead of the people, and take some of the elders of Israel with you; take in your hand the staff with which you struck the Nile, and go. I will be standing there in front of you on the rock at Horeb. Strike the rock, and water will come out of it, so that the people may drink.” Moses did so, in the sight of the elders of Israel.
GOSPEL John 4.5-42
[Jesus speaks with a woman at a well in Samaria, disregarding taboos against rabbis speaking publicly with women, as well as Jewish prejudice against Samaritans. She has been divorced five times. Though only men, not women, were able to initiate divorce, being divorced still made her a social outcast. Yet Jesus sees her as a worthy peer, and they converse about God—longer than Jesus talks with anyone else in the Gospels. They talk about worship, the coming of the Messiah, and living water—flowing water—that gives eternal life.]
Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, “I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship God neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship God in spirit and truth, for this is the kind of worship Abba God seeks. God is spirit, and those who worship God must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her water jar and went back to the city. She said to the people, “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Can this be the Messiah?” They left the city and were on their way to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of the One who sent me and to complete God’s work….. Do you not say, “Four months more, then comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, “One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.” 39…. Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.”
SONG You Who are Thirsty Black hymnal # 2132
THE PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE
[Anyone who wishes may share a prayer concern at the microphone.]
SHARING THE PEACE OF CHRIST
__________We Share at Christ’s Table __________
OFFERING OUR GIFTS
8:15: More Love To Thee Wm. Doane, arr: Molly Ijames
10:30: A Lenten Meditation Michael Herman (Bells of St. Matthew’s)
* COMMUNION SONG Eat This Bread Blue hymnal #628
THE GREAT THANKSGIVING
The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Lift up your hearts.
We lift them up to the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is good to give God thanks and praise.
[The Blessing and Covenant…]
THE PRAYER OF JESUS
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
SHARING THE HOLY MEAL [Everyone is welcome at the table of Christ’s self-giving love.
The bread is wheat-, soy- and dairy free. We dip the bread in the juice.]
PRAYER OF BLESSING
Gracious God, we thank you for this mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Your Spirit flows in us, a spring gushing up to eternal life. Send us out with your good news, to proclaim in our lives your Word of life, in the name of Christ. Amen.
______We Are Sent in Ministry to the World_____
THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH IN THE WORLD
* SONG I Come with Joy Blue hymnal #617, vv. 3-5
* THE BLESSING AND SENDING FORTH
RESPONSE We stand and sing to our neighbors:
May the grace and peace of Christ be with you my friends.
Go and share the love of God, love that never ends.
POSTLUDE Auf Meinen Lieben Gott J. S. Bach
[During the postlude there are people ready to pray with you at the candles in the corners.]