Arrange the chairs in semi-circles facing the well.
Allow time for the group to settle and sit for at least one minute in silence.
Call To Worship: Isaiah 40:28-3, NRSV
Have you not known? Have you not heard?
God is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
God does not faint or grow weary;
God’s understanding is unsearchable.
God gives power to the faint,
and strengthens the powerless.
Even youths will faint and be weary,
and the young will fall exhausted;
but those who wait for God shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.
God, prepare me to be a sanctuary, pure and holy, tried and true. With thanksgiving, I’ll be a living, sanctuary for you.
Lectio Divinia (Latin for Holy Reading): John 4:4-26
Step 1: Hearing the Text
Reader 1: [Jesus] had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)
Reader 2: “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?”
Reader 1: (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) 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.”
Reader 2: Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?”
Reader 1: “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
Reader 2: “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Reader 1: “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
Reader 2: “I have no husband.”
Reader 1: “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!”
Reader 2: “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.”
Reader 1: “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
Reader 2: “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.”
Reader 1: “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
Step 2: In silence (3 minutes) group members contemplate a word or phrase that was meaningful.
Step 3: Group members share a word (no amplification or discussion).
Step 4: Hearing the text for a second time. As members listen, they imagine themselves inside the story, paying attention to their experience of it.
Step 5: 3-5 minutes of silence.
Step 6: Group members share three to ten words about what they experienced (no further amplification or discussion).
Step 7: Hearing the text for a third time. Each group member listens for how the Spirit is speaking to her/him through the passage.
Step 8: Several minutes of silence (listening).
Step 9: Spontaneous spoken prayers of response.
Step 10: Ten minutes of silence.
Ritual of remembering our baptism:
As you have experienced God as the source of your life, and Jesus as the Source of Living Water within you, let us now strengthen ourselves by remembering our baptisms. The baptistry of this crypt has been used for over eight centuries,testifying to the faith in God the Father, Jesus as Savior and Lord, and the Holy Spirit. Let us now use this remembrance of our baptisms as an opportunity to reaffirm our faith.
Sprinkling each person, one by one, “Remember your baptism.” Each person offers a spontaneous prayer of gratitude.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow…
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. (2 Corinthians 13:14)
Let us go in peace to love and serve God. Amen.