Scripture Reading: Genesis 30 (NRSV)
Running streams may have been
described as living water. They are
certainly life giving for the thirsty.
As we see this story, one natural conclusion might be that God blesses those of the covenant. A simplistic understanding of blessing might be physical or materialistic in nature. The prophets began to move us to a more spiritual understanding of blessing and Jesus fulfills this work. When he met a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, he asks her for a drink. Then he tells her that he could give her living water.
The exchange in John 4:11-14 continues:
The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water?
We can see that even in the time of Jesus that Jacob’s prosperity is still providing for his descendants in this well of water. Jesus, however, reminds us that physical wealth is fleeting. It is spiritual wealth that transcends this life.
While we might take pride in our families or our accomplishments at work as both are highlighted in today’s chapter, we know that they both eventually come to an end. This can be depressing if we don’t allow our spiritual life to flourish as well. In this, we may find that the living water quenches our thirst indeed.
Look upon us, O Lord,
and let all the darkness of our souls
vanish before the beams of thy brightness.
Fill us with holy love,
and open to us the treasures of thy wisdom.
All our desire is known unto thee,
therefore perfect what thou hast begun,
and what thy Spirit has awakened us to ask in prayer.
We seek thy face,
turn thy face unto us and show us thy glory.
Then shall our longing be satisfied,
and our peace shall be perfect.
Prayer by Augustine of Hippo, Early 5th Century
Photo from Rainbow Falls at Watkins Glen State Park. Taken by the author, 2017