When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?"(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water" (John 4:7-15 NIV).
The woman Jesus encounters at this well is just one example of so many who have a thirst for living water.
On a weekly basis, searchers come to a place where we hope we will find living water. From early childhood, we have been assured that the assembly hall is the place where God can be found. In more recent years, we have been convinced that the bigger the assembly, the more likely we are to have our thirsty soul satisfied. At the same time, we are being told that smaller assemblies are the source of living water. So we come. We gather. We study. We sing. We pray. We watch. We listen. We hope. We search.
Sometimes our thirst is quenched. Some days we find what we are looking for. A message touches our heart. A conversation encourages us. A prayer reflects our deepest feelings. A song brings us to tears. We leave feeling refreshed. We tell others of the experience and we encourage them to join us for the next gathering.
Sometimes we go away empty. The singing is dull. The message misses our heart. The children are too noisy and distracting. We do not connect on any meaningful level with anyone. The prayers that are prayed sound very similar to the prayers that were prayed the week before, and the week before that, and the week before that. We wonder why we came. We wonder why anyone came. We wonder if we'll come back for the next assembly.
Is there a solution?
Is there a place where we can find this living water?
Is there a well from which we can draw living water that will satisfy the thirst of our soul?
Jesus gave the woman the answer:
"If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water" (John 4:10).
Jesus is the one for whom we thirst. Jesus is where we should go. Jesus is the one whom we should seek. Jesus is the well from which the living water flows.
Assembly halls filled with people may meet our needs on certain levels. Gatherings of people may satisfy our longing for fellowship and connection. But, only a genuine encounter with the giver of living water will quench the thirst of our soul.
Perhaps our thirst has not been quenched and our souls have not been refreshed because we have been going to the wrong well. This week, let's try something different. Let's seek Jesus. I'm not advocating that we "forsake the assembling of ourselves together" (Hebrews 10:25). Nor am I suggesting that we continue with tired and worn-out traditions that have lost value. I am encouraging us to search for Jesus. Go to Jesus and make the same request the woman at the well, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
Jesus is waiting and ready to offer you a drink that will satisfy your thirst. Accept the offer. Drink of the living water.