Devotion 78 – Monday of Epiphany 3

Opening Prayer

Lord, Your river is full of water; we pray You, give us drink.

Text: John 4:6-14

Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give Me a drink.” For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, “How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says 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 nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. Where then do You get that living water? “Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well, and drank from it himself, as well as his sons and his livestock?” Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.”

Devotion

Jesus was weary from traveling. He understands our weariness. In His omniscience He knows how we feel, weary in body and soul, but He also knows it since “He was in all pointed tempted as we are, yet without sin” (Heb 4:15).

The Samaritan woman was also weary, weary of her earthly and sinful life, but she herself didn’t know and didn’t really understand what her sick heart was lacking. Many people of heathen and Christian name walk on the treadmill of sin and worldly things, and are basically and heartily tired of it. But they have put on the yoke and do not know how to get out from under it again, so they strive for peace and sink deeper. Though they strive in search of freedom from their soul’s bondage so many times, yet their search dies stillborn and gets no breath. Here the Church with its Word in the service of the Lord should come to help the soul, offer it salvation, touch its heartstrings to make a sound, wake it from lethargy, and bring its yearning to the light. This is what the Lord does with this woman. He is physically thirsty, but He thirsts more for her soul’s thirst. Doesn’t He say of the salvation of the Samaritans that the Father’s will is His food? He enters into her confidence. So we should also do with the heathen and heathen-like “Christians.” He asks her for a drink and tells her this heavenly Word about living water. Such a Word, of which every letter is a gem of paradise, is not too precious to speak to the afflicted, even this heathen woman tarnished with gross sins. Then He wakens the feelings of her soul’s weariness, the weariness of her pitiful life of sin, the weariness of her poor, empty soul’s earthly existence, a feeling in which still there are more accusations against God and others than against herself, more defiance and rejection than humility and hope. For sincere knowledge of sin is lacking, and she says to Jesus: “Sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.” But God’s Spirit began His good work in her, and He shall perform it.

Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus, speak also to our hearts, of Your thirst and of the living water, and give us grace to hear, so that we thirst, and give us drink from it, so that it becomes in us a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life. Amen.

Hymn

Thou art my Food and Heav’nly Feast,
The Father’s best Donation,
Which gives, when hungry and distrest,
Full strength and consolation,
Blest Manna! Fraught with life and pow’r,
Let husks which this world’s swine devour
Be ne’er my delectation.

Thou art my Drink, and Sacred Wine,
Most pleasant to my tasting,
Who tastes must with the draft divine
Of sweetness everlasting.
Thou Well-spring of my panting heart,
Thy milk and honeyed streams impart,
Richly for my repasting.

Lange: Min Jesus Hjertens søde lyst L 538:6-7 tr. Lyra Davidica;
tune: Allein Gott in der Höh (ELH 35); alternate hymn: Soul, adorn thyself with gladness ELH 328

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