Talk from Church Parade at Papplewick

Bible Reading John 4

Jesus Talks With a Samaritan Woman

Now Jesus had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”

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?”

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them 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.”

The Water of Life

In the film Schindler’s List one of the many harrowing holocaust scenes shows a group of Jewish prisoners stripped and sent into a shower block. They look apprehensively at the shower nozzles to see what will come out – they have all heard rumours of the gas chambers and wonder of this is the end. Suddenly water comes out of the nozzles – this is not the gas chamber after all – it really is a shower – and they rejoice in the water as it flows over them.

So here we are at Papplewick Pumping Station, built by the Victorians to pump water out of a deep well, to provide safe, clean water for the people of Nottingham.  750 million people today still do not have access to safe, clean water, which is about 1/10th of the world’s population.

And into this world comes Jesus – And he talks to a woman at the well – we can identify with her easily, because she is like us, She is a sinner – that is clear – But we also suspect that she is, like most of us who have fallen low, she is also herself a victim.

And Jesus says to her:
“I will give you the water of life”

Not just physical water but that water of eternal life
which will overcome

  • every sin,
  • every brutality,
  • every abuse of power,
  • every act of terror –
  • it will even overcome death and the gas chamber itself,

for it is the water of eternal life.

What is this Water of Life, that wells up within us, and overflows out? It is the Spirit of God – that life that brings out the best in all of us, that inner strength, the desire to live, and love, and bring out all that is lovely and good. It is the Spirit of God, which, like fresh clean water, brings new life, brings healing into our land, and our lives.

Thinking about the Water of Life, where does it flow?  Does it flow just in the high places, amongst the mountain tops and the Church steeples, amongst the great and the good?

No, water flows downhill, and if today you feel downcast, never the mind how low you fall, for the water of life will always be like a stream tumbling into the very bottom of the valley, making its way surely to the lowest place.

And if you are in a low and dark place,
there will the water of life assuredly come.

Praise God for the water of life

  • Let’s drink it
  • Lets cherish it
  • Lets share it.

About lowdhamstation

I am a director of a small (and very technical) business, a committed Christian, a Reader (and preacher) in my local village church, husband to my dear Frances, am interested in heritage railways, and heritage fire engines. I currently run a group that displays wartime and early post-war fire engines at 1940s re-enacting events and steam engine rallies. O yes, and vintage cars and motorbikes, and we live in a Victorian railway station.
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