The Samaritan Woman at the Well

By Charlotte Phillips

On this third Sunday of Lent, we hear the story of the Samaritan woman at the well from John’s Gospel.

During this time, the Jews and Samaritans did not get along with each other. Also, during this time, Samaritan women would have gone together to draw water from the well. The woman is by herself because the other women have excluded her or because she chose to exclude herself out of fear of being judged by them.

As we all know, Jesus sits down next to the Samaritan woman and asks for a drink to quinch his physical thirst before offering the woman “living water” to quinch her spiritual thirst.

As Jesus and the woman are talking, we learn she may be at the well alone because she had had five husbands, and the man she is currently with is not her husband. When praying with this Scripture during Lent, I invite you to approach this story from one of two different ways.

  1. When in our lives have we been like those excluding the Samaritan woman? When have we judged and excluded others because of something they have done, forgetting that Jesus pours his living waters on all of us?
  2. When have we felt like the Samaritan woman ourselves? When have we sinned against our God and excluded ourselves from our community of faith, forgetting that God already knows our faults and still offers us mercy, forgiveness and “living water” despite our sins?

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