Sermon Summary, 9/9/18, “Encounter at the Well” (John 4 selected))
Have you ever asked after watching the news, “What on earth is going on?” Rosemary would say, “Are we the only normal ones left?” What is wrong? The answer is sin. Not just girly shows and gambling, but radical, biblical sin. Sin identified in the OT as idolatry and adultery, placing other things ahead of God and being unfaithful to God.
We all have idols, we all cross the line, place things or people on a pedestal, worship them instead of God, go beyond love to adoration. We all violate the first commandment, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
We all have idols, and these idols never satisfy. They never fully quench our thirst. We have to return to the well over and over again and then are never fully satisfied. The woman at the well never fully quenched her desire and therefore had five husbands and the man she was living with was not her husband. Our idols never satisfy.
Tim Keller quotes author David Foster Wallace as saying, “Everybody worships. The only choice we get is what to worship. And the compelling reason for maybe choosing some sort of god...to worship is that pretty much anything else will eat you alive.” Wallace toyed with religion but never accepted it and 18 months later took his own life. His idols ate him alive.
And that is the human condition. We all cross the line. We all love our spouses, children or grandchildren to the point of worship and adoration. We put them on a pedestal, and if we are not careful, it will eat alive. Love them we must, but we will always be disappointed or devasted. Our love will eat us alive.
Jesus told the Samaritan woman at the well, “Whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” (Jn 4:14)
What do we do? We can’t stop loving. No, but we can reorient our worship. As we look at the objects of our love, our things yes, but more likely our children and grandchildren, as we look at them with our loving eyes, we realize the great gift God has given us and raise our eyes to him in adoration and thanksgiving and direct our worship to him. We don’t cross the line. We live a life of gratitude. We give thanks for the gifts of God and worship him. It makes both God and our loves more important.
Now, it’s pretty obvious we aren’t the woman with loose morals at the well, obviously a sinner. But lest we boast, next week we will look at a really good man who is also a sinner. We are not off the hook.