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Fourth Friday

LISTEN

READ
John 4:5-42

CONTEMPLATE
Welcome to Lent meditation and worship with Westside church. During this Lenten season, meet us here each day as we read scripture, worship and rest in the presence of God together. Know that as you listen today, you are doing so with others whether in the same space as you or not, and we pray that the Holy Spirit permeates the places we each find ourselves in right now. 

Let us start today by clearing our minds and opening our hearts and minds to what the Lord wants to speak to us through His word today. Take a deep breath in and out. And another in and out.

Yesterday we read the story of the Samaritan women at the well and Jesus offering of Living Water to all who would ask. Centuries earlier God held out a similar invitation through the Prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah 55:1-9
“Is anyone thirsty?
    Come and drink—even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—it’s all free!
2 Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
    Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
    You will enjoy the finest food.
3 “Come to me with your ears wide open.
    Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
    I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
4 See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
    I made him a leader among the nations.
5 You also will command nations you do not know,
    and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”
6 Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
7 Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.
8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Here God holds out an invitation like none other to anyone who was willing to come which included not only the Israelites, but the Gentiles as well. He is holding out his hand for them to enjoy the things of this world that they can only get from God alone. It isn’t the basic necessities of life but only what is truly satisfying for their souls.

God is offering true joy and satisfaction. We can’t find that apart from and the neither could the people Isaiah was talking to. They had spent years disobeying God and continuing to turn their back on Him only to turn around and then back again. And yet, God still invites them to take this gift, this free gift, that won’t cost them a penny. Isaiah emphasizes what money can buy and it will never satisfy, and that what God is giving is free. It is only by God’s grace that this joy can be found.

The same invitation is still open for us today through Jesus. Just as he told the Samaritan woman of the Living Water, he is offering it to us as well. We just need to say yes. While it is free to us, it still was pricey. Jesus paid the cost of this gift, and it means that God is there with his arms open saying, “Come”. Will you say yes? What is holding you back from saying yes? Our walk with Jesus is one like the Israelites of turning away through sin and disobedience and then turning back around through repentance. And through all of that, God will not drop his arms. He will keep them wide open, his invitation will never falter and the fulfilling life he offers will never run dry.

PRAY
Enduring Presence, goal and guide, you go before and await our coming. Only our thirst compels us beyond complaint to conversation, beyond rejection to relationship. Pour your love into our hearts, that, refreshed and renewed, we may invite others to the living water given to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

WRITE and DISCUSS

  1. What have you been using to try and satisfy your soul? Will you say yes, yet again perhaps, to Jesus’ invitation to Living Water?
  2. Looking over the course of this week, what has challenged you or stuck with you? What do you feel the Holy Spirit speaking to you this week?