CAPC Oakland

News, Connections and Photos from the life of the faith community at CAPC Oakland

Blogging Towards Sunday, March 12, 2023

Exodus 17:1-7 & John 4:5-42

Today’s stories seem far from what we live…traveling in the desert, going to a well for water. And yet….

The Israelites cry out in fear that God has abandoned them. They look around and see no water, this scarcity leads them to fear. How will they survive without this necessary resource? This fear dulls the faith that they’ve been developing in the God that led them out of the bonds as slaves, through the destruction of the sea, and beyond the threat of Pharaoh’s chariots. They’re so afraid that they even long for the certitude of their formerly enslaved lives. How would that God not continue to provide for them in the wilderness after all that?

Jesus is tired, hot, thirsty, hungry after traveling. He sits down at this well in Samaria while his friends scout provisions. This woman has no name. She is judged by her community for the story of her life and loves. She is judged by the Israelites for being a Samaritan, a marginal group rejected by racist and religious ideas. So, she avoids everyone coming alone at the hottest time of day to draw water when no one will be there. We think of the woman needing Jesus, yet in the story we see that Jesus needs the woman too. Jesus needs water. He needs her to be a witness. The woman needs living water. She needs to be recognized as a beloved child of God. She needs to be seen through the lens of mutual need, not just be defined by social stigmas.

"Living Water" 
Digital painting by Rev. Lauren Wright PIttman

We often see this Gospel story as a bridge-building one. It’s a reminder to be brave enough to cross boundaries and offer a drink to those society may separate from us. And it is. And also, it reminds us that God designed this whole world to run on benevolent connection, rooted in our mutuality of need. And this requires us to not just be charitable, but vulnerable.

The question for us this Lent is not only whether we would extend a drink; it’s whether we will be brave enough to as God for one when we need it.*


• What engaged, enraged, or surprised you in this text?
• How and when does the fear of scarcity dull your faith
in God’s presence and provision?
• How are you like the Israelites?; the Samaritan woman?
• What invitation do you hear the Spirit of God speaking to you – or to us, as a church – to act, speak, be or change through this word of scripture?

*Some wording come from Lenten devotions written by Rev. Danielle Shroyer & Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman | A Sanctified Art LLC

Download a PDF Study Sheet to use as you read these texts HERE.

About capcoakland

We are a community of faith seeking to live God's will together: that space where the passions of our hearts and the needs of the world meet in our context of Berkeley, Oakland and Piedmont. Our perspective is based from a Christian center, open to the mystery of God's presence in our world. Our core values are celebration, community & prayer. This blog is our avenue for program updates and information.

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This entry was posted on March 9, 2023 by in Blogging Towards Sunday.


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