The British Orthodox Church
Metropolis of Glastonbury

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Fourth Sunday in Lent – Father Simon Smyth

Finding God everywhere!

“Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.”

This woman of Samaria came to the well to draw water.  This was a daily task, an essential part of her daily round, her daily routine – one of the things that simply had to be done every day, a part of her everyday life.  We are not told if she found this daily task boring… we may well suspect that she found it lonely.  For she went to draw water at the hottest part of the day, at the sixth hour – noon.  Perhaps, given her lifestyle (“thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband”) she wasn’t popular with some of the other women –or maybe, given her lifestyle she was too popular with some of the local men who saw her as ‘easy’ in that judgmental way that men too often do.  Either way she preferred to come in the noon heat when no-one else would be there so as to avoid either male advances or female recriminations.  She carried out her daily, possibly boring, certainly arduous and physically demanding, routine alone.  “It was a task that was familiar and repetitive.  She rounds the corner as she approaches the well, she rounds the corner of the pathway that she knows so very well – but today everything is different as she comes round the corner: there beside the well is the Son of God.  In the midst of her familiar daily work there is Christ – but at first she does not realise who it is.  And so Christ says to her, “If you knew the gift of God, if you knew who it is who is saying to you give me a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” Are we not like this woman?  How often “we do not ask.  We do not recognise who it is …we are bored, inattentive, blind, deaf…” We must “wake up, come alive, rediscover the sacramental nature of reality; the whole cosmos is one great Burning Bush.  We are to find Christ present in all persons, in all things, in every daily task.  The Christian is the one who wherever he or she looks sees everywhere Christ and rejoices in him…”

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