Collect and Readings for The Third Sunday of Lent – Isaiah 55.1-9, Psalm 63.1-9, 1 Corinthians 10.1-13, Luke 13:1-9,The Prayer for todayAlmighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
When we are seriously thirsty, we are no longer bothered about the choice of drink, but simply desperate for water. In extreme thirst the body shrieks for water, and a nomadic desert people would be well used to the power of such thirst. So, the image of 'spiritual water' is a strong one, drawing on our life-and-death human need which is both physical and spiritual.
The invitation is not confined to the materially or spiritually rich; it is freely available to everyone. Instead of wasting our time and money on poor value substitutes we might as well go for the real thing: God himself.
So far it is all good news. But there is also a serious shadow which we need to address. God is no fool. He is wise to all our excuses for rejecting his offer. For all kinds of reasons, we continue to invest in values and lifestyles and spending and habits which sell us short and bankrupt us spiritually. Sometimes we half convince ourselves that God doesn't notice, or even doesn't mind; that his understanding of why we do the things we do is so tolerant and accepting that we can mostly live as we like, especially if we are being 'true to ourselves'.
In today's reading Jesus is at pains to point out the dangers of living and thinking in this way. Of course, it matters. Of course, God knows exactly what we are doing and how we are living. And if we go on and on refusing to accept him on his terms, the truth must be faced that his invitation can be withdrawn. Lent is an excellent time to look carefully at what our real response to him is, and act on what we see.
Some things to reflect upon:
Are we really thirsty or not?
Are we drinking from God's Spirit, or do we get drawn into the shopping centre of substitutes?
God bless and stay safe and well
Rev'd Fiona Robinson