Sunday 12th March 2023 - 3rd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 17:1-7; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42; Psalm 95
The theme of water resonates throughout these readings, rooted in the Old Testament story of Godís people in the desert without it. This could naturally lead to inviting a congregation to reflect and pray for those who provide safe water, sewage services etc. in our society. We might also recognise and affirm those who work in the provision of utilities in general. Prayers and reflection might also focus on those parts of the world where safe water is not available, and those who work to provide it. There are opportunities here to also reflect on environmental issues and to pray for those involved and affected.
Jacobís well provides the location for the Gospel reading which also introduces us to a longstanding racial divide between the Jews and Samaritans. This might prompt us to pray for those who work to promote racial harmony, fight discrimination or work as mediators, negotiators and in other forms of reconciliation. We might also consider how it is often through the world of work that we have become familiar with concepts such as equal opportunity, and reflect on what lessons we, as a community of Godís people, might learn from those who have developed and introduced policies and initiatives of this nature.
It is at work that many of us are introduced to people of other races and cultures. Perhaps because of the people we work with directly, or because suppliers, customers and clients are based overseas.