Pastor Tony’s Sermon March 19, 2017

John 4: 5-42               3-19-17    ACCUCC        Rev. Tony Clark


…”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.”  The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”…


a woman arrives

dusty from a day in the desert

dry-mouthed she approaches

the mouth of life-giving water

a well


a man

who promises life

not just the day-to-day drudgery life of a divorcee

not just life-less life supporting yet another man’s life

but a life-giving life beyond today,

beyond tomorrow and beyond all time.

she of shame–

ashamed by divorce,

a shame to her community–

she of shame shamefully speaks to a man,

who promises life

not just a same-old-same-old day-to-day lifeless life

in another broken marriage

but a life-giving life built on a relationship of wholeness.

She of many relationships

that all ended the same

that all ended in shame

divorced by four or five men

marriages arranged then rearranged


at the mercy of patriarchy,

at a well, abandoned, alone again.

he, a desert preacher

healer, rabbi, teacher

he, who crossed boundaries of race and gender,

offered living water

to those born to the wrong race or the wrong gender,

he, who spoke life to those living life-less lives,

offered a spring of water gushing up to eternal life

to the dusty dry-mouthed desert divorcee.

Are you? said she.

I am, said he.

Are you the One? said she.

I am he, said he.

Are you the Messiah, said she?

I am the bread of life, said he.

I am the vine, said he

And we are his branches.

I am the light of the world

And the doorway to God

I am God’s resurrection

And I’m the good shepherd

I am, said he,

I am

the way the truth and the life.

Life he promises.

Not life of day-to-day drudgery and dullness

but life beyond these days

life that is full of

wellness, fullness, and healing wholeness

life beyond today’s divorce and shame

life beyond tomorrow’s marriages

either arranged or rearranged

life beyond all days

a spring of water gushing up to eternal life

I am the Way the Truth and the Life

I am the Way

on which the lonely are liberated

and the secluded included

I am the Truth

speaking relation to isolation

where love is celebrated.

I am the Life

that offers living water

into dry dusty desert drudgery

and if you come, you shall not thirst.

For those whose throats are dry with delusions:

Here, I offer living water, a well of wellness

for those who thirst for love and inclusion:

Here, I offer living water, a fountain of fullness

for those who live broken lives:

Here I offer living water, a spring of wholeness

for those driven by dry desert desires:

here, I offer living water, an eternal gush

Those who thirst for wholeness

will not stay parched

and the thirst for justice,

shall be quenched

And those left lonely abandoned alone

Shall find fullness in life with the One.

I am, said he, the water of salvation for this thirsty world.

In this world, we thirst and thirst and thirst unfulfilled

I offer water and eternal life,

your thirst quenched, your life fulfilled.

she of desert desire, of thirst and shame

spoke words that we would claim

she said, “Sir, give me this eternal spring water,

that I may never again come lonely or ashamed,

that my race may not be declaimed

that my gender not be slandered

that the boundaries I cross to be in this place

be brought down by God’s life-giving grace

Sir,” she said, “may this spring,

this fountain,

this well

provide life-giving water for our thirsty world.”


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