Crosses at the Crossroads: The Deep Well

Week of March 19, 2017

On this third week of Lent our journey takes us to an awareness of our thirst.  What satisfies our thirst?  Where do we go to quench our thirst?  It is easy to see the aisles of soft drinks in every supermarket and convenient store.  Manufacturers have made it effortless for us to respond to our thirst. Not only have they put drinks on the ends of checkout lines in grocery stores, but they also supplied us with beverages while gassing up our car.  Everywhere we go we see things that lead our thirst to be satiated. Because of all of this, we have developed a plurality of taste options. Some like certain colas over others.  Our favorite coffee places offer us many choices.  Gatorade just came out with a brand that is called Flow.  It supposedly has a better aftertaste. The lure of calorie free drinks drive the market.  Brand upon brand are vying for our attention, yet none can ever totally quench our body’s thirst forever.

But the well of the Gospel runs to a deeper place.  The Lord invites the Samaritan woman to go past the bodily thirst to a thirst of the soul.  As she asks for the water of the well, she is seeking the wrong thing for the wrong reason.  She no longer wants to arrive at the well to be judged by others. If she could get by with another source of water, she could remain in sin and be comfortable.  But Jesus wants her to go deeper, to explore a thirst that is far from fear and embarrassment to one that is close to the heart of a Savior who loves and forgives.  This well is a gift; it is a wellspring from within that begins with God and continues in God.  How do we find our way to that well?

The deep well can only come when we are no longer bound by choices of what will quench our thirst.  The deep well flows where there is no longer a choice, but a conviction of the love God has for us.  The deep well leads us to the moment of belief in God’s forgiveness.  It is the depth that overcomes all understanding when we trust in God to provide.  It is here we place our crosses down and know He is real. Thirst quenchers all have ingredients.  This well only has one, love.  It is a love so deep, it is sacrificial.  It is life-ending and life-giving.

How do we get to the deep, really deep well?  We have to stop trying to do things on our own.  We have to stop thinking quick fixes can lead us to that which is Eternal. We have to discipline our thirst so it will not bind us to what is shallow and tasteless.  There are many vying to give us a solution to our thirst, yet there is only one, the Lord, who can create a wellspring from within.  Go to His well and follow Him.

Reverend John J. Ouper