Exploring the Sunday Gospel - Third Sunday of Lent


Today is the Third Sunday of Lent. The Gospel reading is John’s account of the meeting
between Jesus and the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well. The image of water has already
played an important part in John’s Gospel: in chapter one, John baptized with water; in
chapter two, Jesus turned water into wine. Now the image of water is transformed in two
ways. First, the image is now concerned with ‘living water’. The flowing, moving, dynamic
nature of living water is contrasted with the still, motionless water at the bottom of the well.
Second, this living water, like Jesus himself, holds the key to eternal life. Here is one of the
key images of Messiahship held out during Lent.
For those of you who wanted to do some thinking and preparation for today’s service during
the preceding week, I invited reflection on the image of running water. In today’s picture
from his book, Water, Teddy Horsley and Betsy Bear are watching the fast moving river rush
their Pooh sticks down to the sea.
Lord Jesus Christ,
you are the living water
welling up into eternal life.
Draws us to that living water,
that we may drink from the well of life;
for your name's sake.
Next Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Lent that is also kept as Refreshment Sunday (in the
middle of the Lenten fast) and as Mothering Sunday. The Gospel reading chosen for
Mothering Sunday is taken from Luke’s account of Mary taking the infant Jesus to the
Temple and meeting there with Simeon. The image to help prepare for next Sunday’s theme
is Mary mother of Jesus. You can find out more about that theme by looking at the
Educational Resources and the Preparation Resources.

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