Sermon May 26th, 2019 Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
May 26, 2019
Sunday of the Samaritan Woman
Jesus reaches out to the Samaritan woman. We don’t appreciate how radical this conversation is. 1. Jesus is speaking to an unaccompanied woman. 2. She’s a Samaritan. For Jews, Samaritans were outsiders and enemies. Jews couldn’t have any dealings with Samaritans at all. Jews couldn’t even use their vessels, the cup she would have poured the water into that how complete the separation was. 3. They engage in a serious theological conversation.
So, why did Jesus do this? Chrysostom says, “His very reason for asking was to show his difference to such observances since, if he was going to induce others to abolish them, then it was even more important for him to pass them by.”
The Kingdom of God is for everyone. God’s presence in the world is meant for all, and for all to participate with him and in the world as he intended it to be.
That Jesus spoke to a woman, should remind us that faith and life is not just for men, but for women too. At the time, this was pretty radical.
The symbol of that in this story, beyond the presence of Christ himself, is the “living water.” First, what is “living water”? Its fresh water coming from a spring or a moving river. It’s not stagnant, not collected in a barrel or something, where it’s lost its connection to its source. Here we can see the connection to baptism. We are meant to baptize in living water. Our source for that living water is God Himself. Jesus met the Samaritan woman at a well. The water at the well is refreshing, because it is living water. The water of baptism is refreshing because it is filled with the Holy Spirit, God’s presence, and refreshes us, gives us new life, and is meant to overflow in our lives.
In the encounter that Jesus has with the Samaritan woman, who tradition says is named Photeine, they have a serious theological discussion. Samaritans and Jews disagreed over what place should be considered holy, where God dwells. Jesus and the woman discuss this. We should not be afraid of having discussions about theology with those who are “different” from us.
The Samaritan woman came into contact with Christ, who accepted her, challenged their differences. Through the encounter, she aligned herself with Christ and was transformed by this.
The fields are white for harvest. The world around us is looking for Good News, for Christ. We – all of us