Daily Devotion for February 5, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Lord, you have brought me to the beginning of a new day. As the world is renewed fresh and clean, so I ask you to renew my heart with your strength and purpose. Forgive me the errors of yesterday and bless me to walk closer in your way today. This is the day I begin my life anew; shine through me so that every person I meet may feel your presence in my soul. Take my hand, precious Lord, for I cannot make it by myself. Through Christ I pray and live,
Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)
Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of thy law, so that we might know our sin, and thy Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short. Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make me perfect in every good work to do his will, working in me that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Jesus and the Woman of Samaria 
Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water."
The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock."
Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water."
Notes on the Scripture
Like so much of John's Gospel, this passage is filled with complexity. The Samaritan woman asks him two questions in a row: First, where do you get the living water? And second, Are you greater than our father Jacob?
Remember, this is literally "Jacob's Well", the very well mentioned in Genesis and a famous spot in Judea. It also has a symbolic meaning in John's Gospel, because it comes to symbolize the source of spiritual gifts received by the Hebrews in the covenant between the Hebrew patriarchs and God. Water is used, here and throughout the gospel, as a symbol of spirit. The water from Jacob's well, drunk by Jacob himself as well as his sons, is a metaphor for the gifts of the holy spirit to Jacob and his descendants, i.e. the Hebrews.
So when Jesus says that those who drink from Jacob's well will be thirsty again, while those who drink his water will never have to drink again, he is not saying that his followers will never again be thirsty and won't have to drink physical water. Rather, he is describing the difference between the old covenant and the new one. Those who believe in Christ will be freed from the laws of Moses. The old covenant will be fulfilled.
And just as clearly, the Samaritan woman is going to have to keep coming to the physical well to draw physical water. When she asks for the living water so that she "will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water", she is describing the freedom she seeks from the old covenant. Christ's grace will fill her with the holy spirit -- an act traditionally symbolized by pouring water on the recipient or dipping him into water -- and she will not have to seek it further.