There is something about water. Something special about the sound of running water or rolling waves, the view of a majestic ocean and the taste of salt. There is something haunting and calling about water – like an ancient human instinct. We are drawn by the rolling waves, by the clear blue waters, by the lifegiving sources of water, as if it is something or some place we know as home. As the Danish Poet Benny Andersen writes in his funny poem” My life as an immigrant”:
“It was a dark and cold November morning
When I came into the world
A little freezing immigrant into the North
Expelled from my tropical abode
With an average temperature, of
Almost 38 degrees centigrade in the shade
Where I could bathe safely day and night
In my little warm two pints’ ocean….”
As the story of creation began with the Spirit of God hovering over the waters, so did our own creation and life, begin in the safe waters of our mother’s womb, our tropical paradise of two pints’ ocean….
In the Bible, we read many stories about the significance of water. Water gives and brings life. Water gives growth. Water satisfies the thirsty.
Once upon a time the Bible tells us Moses hit the rocks in the wilderness and water sprang to give new hope and new life to the wandering people.
Once upon a time the bible tells us about the time when Jacob came to the old well when he was at a crossroad in his life.
Once upon a time the Bible tells us about the time when Jesus came to the well and met a woman.
Today we meet at the well in two beautiful stories. First with Jakob and then with Jesus.
Jacob longed. At the well his physical thirst was quenched and at the same time he saw the beautiful Rachel for the first time. As he watched her come to the well and the him, the lifegiving water of the well became the lifechanging love. The life of Jacob as a cheater and imposter, was forever changed at the well to become the life of Jacob, who did love and was loved. The water of the well gave a new life to him. The spring of water became his spring of life. So, Jacob truly lived by love and spring water!
Can you live by love and spring water? Can you live by love in a cottage? Well, we often say to the young ones madly in love, that there is more to love than love in a cottage… there must be reality, mortgages, cash, and credit.
Can you live on love in a cottage / on love and spring water only? Well, you can defiantly not live without!
Water is a necessity. Right now, we witness the amazing wonder of water and nature when we enjoy the green hills and the orange poppies in the usually drought ridden California. We, the animals, the plants, and the entire planet would die without water. We cannot live or survive without water here on this blue blue planet of ours.
And what about love? Can we live and survive without love? Love is equally as important as water, but too often we are so occupied and preoccupied with our projects of self-realization and narcissism that the most important in life and the possibility to find, to give and to receive love gets lost.
Today we are shown the way to the spring of life and love… first by Jacob and then by Jesus.
Jacob has always managed on his own, he has been his own master, he has been cheating his brother and his father and he has been living life without ever giving. And then at the well that day, he sees Rachel. Beautiful Rachel, who completely knocks him of his feet as love tends to do. Love and the spring of water, love in a cottage – that was the only thing on Jacobs mind after that encounter. To use his strength to water her herd and through the water find her heart and her love.
The woman at the well had a shattered broken life behind her. She had lost her faith in true love after her broken relationships and marriages. As the encounter at the well was life changing for Jacob, so it was for the woman. She met a love, a truth, and a presence, that made her faith and hope rise.
The well brought water and love. The woman came to get water, but she left changed and blessed with so much more than what she came fore. The woman was besides being a woman, also a woman from Samaria, a region that the Jews despised and thus hardly wanted to talk with anyone from that region and certainly not a woman! But Jesus saw her, heard her, talked with her, and listened to her. And Jesus showed that he knew of her life, her relations, her failures, and her flaws. But without any resentment or reluctance, Jesus showed his compassion, his strength, and his trust that he could help her find love, grace, and spring water in life.
Water is a necessity for all of us to survive and to live. And thus, love is as necessary. We do need love, forgiveness, comfort, compassion, presence, acceptance, care, hugs, and faith. We need to be seen, heard, and loved.
In our modern hectic lifestyle, there are so many demands and so many things to tend to… that we put living on a hold. We forget that we can only receive when we give, We forget that life comes to us, in unexpected encounters, where we are offered to drink of the spring water of life and love.
The water of the well gives us the taste of what is right and true. The water of the well opens our senses to see, hear and feel the world around us. The water of our well, the baptismal font, opens our senses and strengthens our faith, hope and longing to dare to believe that we could and should live on just love and spring water. The baptism is a beautiful love encounter between God and us – we are blessed and touched by the water and the words.
The Danish sailor and author Troels Klovedahl has been sailing all his life, on the oceans of the world and he has been sharing his stories, experiences, and encounters though his books and through his TV appearances. Just recently the now 73 year old sailor Klovedahl, who is terminal ill, received the Ridderkors from the Danish Queen. An honor that truly surprised him and humbled him… and he said: “Life truly has been love and spring water!”
Grant us at the end of our journey to be able to say with joy, faith, and hope: “Our lives was truly lived on love and spring water!”