24 February 2008

Josh's Sermonette for the Third Sunday in Lent

I gave this sermonette on the Facebook group, Notoriously Anglican.

Old Testament Lesson: Exodus 17.1-7
Psalm 95: “Venite, exultemus”
New Testament Lesson: Romans 5.1-11
Gospel: St. John 4.5-26

+ In the Name of the one, holy, and everliving God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who visits us when we thirst and invites us to drink deeply of his divinity. Saranam.

Once upon a hot day, Jesus comes to a well, and asks a woman for a drink of water.

The woman asks Jesus, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” At that time, Jews did not fellowship with Samaritans.

And Jesus answers 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.”

She protests. “But you have no bucket! And the well is quite deep!”

But Jesus persists. He doesn’t care if she says she can’t draw water for him. “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.”

It’s a hot, dry world out there, and we search and long for something that can quench our spiritual thirst. We search for it in other religions or spiritualities, philosophical ideas, or even in temporal pleasure. But when we answer the invitation to drink deeply of the living water, we answer the call to share in Christ’s divine life, a life of theosis, a divine life incarnate, a life that is washed and cleansed in living water. A life that is made fertile by living water. A life that is renewed in living water. And like at the dawn of creation, when the primal Spirit whispered the Name over the waters that birthed the world into being, so too from the water we are created anew, being sanctified by the Spirit and marked as Christ’s own forever. It is this water in which we are clothed with the radiant garment of righteousness, and we are established among the children of God’s Commonwealth of Peace. In this ever-flowing water, we are raised up, renewed, and wonderfully restored to perfection by him through whom all things were made, Jesus Christ our Saviour.

In so living a life of theosis, we also give drink to those who are thirsty. For it is Christ who thirsts, and we serve him by serving them, and by loving them as he loves us. And even someone so unnoticed, perhaps despised by neighbours because he or she may be different that they are, Christ invites them also to live a life of theosis, and to share this divine life with others. His divine life is not limited to just the few, the holy, the theologically adept, or those who are spiritually ‘in tune’, but for all people. He calls all to be living water to the world.

Christ bids us to drink deeply of him, as he drinks deeply of us! All who are thirsty, come to the living water, for that water is love! Yes, you! Yes, you wanderer, you lover of leaving, you unclean one! Yes, you heretic, you prostitute, you illegitimate child of scandal! Yes, you members of the Episcopal Church in the United States, members of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, members of the Diocese of New Hampshire, members of the Diocese of New Westminster, members of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, and members of the Diocese of Sydney! Yes, you members of Affirming Catholicism and Forward in Faith! Yes, you members of Church Society, Accepting Evangelicals, and Inclusive Church! Yes, you members of the Global North and Global South! Yes, even you! Come to the wellspring of transformation and live in him! He doesn’t care if you searched for love in all the wrong places. He comes to you, asks for you, and invites you to share a love, a living love, with him. Let him fill the buckets of your souls with living water!

Christ, the early lover of souls, came to give us life in all its fullness, and to fulfill the promise of new and unending life. Won’t you share in that life of love, and “come to share in the divinity of him who came to share in our humanity”? (1979 Book of Common Prayer, page 288)

Don’t say, “I can’t”. Live your one baptism. There are thirsty people all around. Gush out with Christ’s divinity, and splash others with Christ’s divinity too.

And let the people say, Amen.

1 comment:

John the organist said...

Well said - oh that all would recognise their common baptism!