August 9th Worship

Order of Service

Part I
PreludeFor the Beauty of the EarthChris Johansen
Opening Prayer
Welcome
Confession & Forgiveness
Liz Dodge
HymnLord of Glory, You Have Bought Us
#707
Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Prayer of the DayLiz Dodge
Psalm 145: 8-9, 14-21Harry Johansen
Chris Johansen, piano
Part II
ReadingJohn 4: 3-42Dave & Diane Clifton
Liz Dodge
ReflectionCommentary from David Lose at Mount Olivet Lutheran ChurchLiz Dodge
Creed
Prayers of Intercession
Lord’s Prayer
Liz Dodge
Closing PrayerHenrik Strandskov
BenedictionLiz Dodge
Closing songJesus Met the Woman at the WellPeter, Paul & Mary
PostludeHere, There and EverywhereChris Johansen

Note: Audio for a full service appears here. A few individual parts of the service are also embedded in the text below.

Part I

Part II


Prelude

Chris Johansen


Opening Prayer

God of wonder and glory, this world around us is awesome.
You created it!
You continue to hold it together,
even as we threaten to tear it apart.

God of justice and righteousness,
to you we look for the truth.
You are the ultimate judge.
Your wisdom cuts through the lies.

God of grace and mercy,
the love you have shown us in Jesus is more than we deserve.
Your arms are open wide,
like a waiting father for his prodigal children,
ready to welcome and restore.

We come to you just now thirsting for your living water.
Guide us to the streams of your wonder and glory,
your justice and righteousness, your grace and mercy,
that we may drink and be satisfied,
renewed for our continuing journey with Jesus.

This we pray in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit….

Confession & Forgiveness

In the name of the Father, and of the +Son, and of the Holy Spirit.               Amen

We confess our entanglements with justice, hurts, and greed – and God’s difficult, blessed vision of a very different way. We seek the face of God, confessing our sin.

        Silence for reflection and self-examination.

Holy God,

we have sinned against you and each other. We pray for your forgiveness and healing. The good we want to do, we often fail to do. The harmful actions and thoughts we do not want, we turn to again and again. Deliver us, Gracious God. Save us, save our neighbors, save all your creatures from our lack of imagination and courage. Gird us for the challenges of change needed, called for, overdue. Guide our way in your way.    
Amen

We who were once far off have been brought near to God through the cross of Christ. May we forgive one another as God in Christ has first forgiven us.
Amen


Hymn – Lord of Glory, You Have Bought Us

1.
Lord of glory, you have bought us with your lifeblood as the price
never grudging for the lost ones that tremendous sacrifice;
and with that have freely given blessings countless as the sand
to theun-thankful and the evil with your own unsparing hand.

2.
Grant us hearts, dear Lord, to give you gladly, freely, of your own.
With the sunshine of your goodness melt our thankless hearts of stone
till our cold and selfish natures, warmed by you, at length believe
that more happy and more blessed ’tis to give than to receive.

3.
Wondrous honor you have given to our humblest charity
in your own mysterious sentence, “You have done it all to me.”
Naked, sick, in prison, hungry – in the least, your face we view,
saying by your poor and needy, “Give as I have giv’n to you.”

4.
Lord of glory, you have bought us with your lifeblood as the price
never grudging for the lost ones that tremendous sacrifice;
Give us faith to trust you boldly, hope, to stay our souls on you:
but, oh, best of all your graces, with your love our love renew.

Text: Eliza S. Alderson
Music: Rowland H. Prichard


Prayer of the Day

God of life,
Shower us in your living water, bringing us to new life, fresh and clean. Walk with us as we share the knowledge of your living water with others, so that all might live.
Amen.


Psalm 145: 8-9, 14-21

The Lord is gracious and merciful,
    slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
The Lord is good to all,
    and his compassion is over all that he has made.
14 The Lord upholds all who are falling,
    and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
    and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand,
    satisfying the desire of every living thing.
17 The Lord is just in all his ways,
    and kind in all his doings.
18 The Lord is near to all who call on him,
    to all who call on him in truth.
19 He fulfills the desire of all who fear him;
    he also hears their cry, and saves them.
20 The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.

21 My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord,
    and all flesh will bless his holy name forever and ever.


Reading: John 4: 3-42 (Readers’ Theater)

Narr:    Jesus and his disciples left Judea and returned to Galilee.
            The trip took them through Samaria.
            After a time, they came to the Samaritan village of Sychar,
            near the field that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. 
               Jacob’s well was there;
            and Jesus, tired from the long walk,
            sat down beside the well for a rest.
            The disciples ventured off to look for provisions.
            It was about noon, and before long
            a Samaritan woman came to the well to draw water.
            Jesus said to her,

Jesus:  Would you please draw some water for me, and give me a drink?

Narr:    The woman was surprised,
            for Jews usually refuse to have anything to do with Samaritans. 

Woman: I can’t believe that you, a Jew, would even speak to me,
            much less ask me for a drink of water!

Jesus:  If you only knew the gift God has for you
            and who you are speaking to!
            Because if you did, you would ask me,
            and I would give you living water.

Woman: Sir, you sit by this deep well,
            a thirsty man without a bucket in sight.
            Where would you get this living water?
            Do you think you’re greater than our ancestor Jacob,
            who laboured long and hard to dig and maintain this well
            so that he would have clean water to share with his sons and daughters,
            his grandchildren, and his livestock? 
            How can you offer better water than he and his family enjoyed?

Jesus:  Drink this water, and your thirst is quenched only for a moment.
            You must return to this well again and again.
            But the water I offer you is different.
            I offer water that quenches thirst forever.
            It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within you,
            giving life throughout eternity.
            You would never be thirsty again.

Woman: Please, sir, give me this water!
            Then I’ll never be thirsty again,
            and I won’t have to keep coming here to get water.

Jesus:  Go and get your husband.

Woman: I don’t have a husband.

Jesus:  Technically you are telling the truth.
            But you have had five husbands
            and are currently living with a man you are not married to.

Woman: Sir, it is obvious to me that you are a prophet.
            So tell me, why is it that you Jews insist 
            that Jerusalem is the only place of worship,
            while we Samaritans claim it is here at Mount Gerizim, 
            where our ancestors worshiped?”

Jesus:  Woman, I tell you that neither is so.
            The time is coming when it will no longer matter
            whether you worship the Father on this mountain or in Jerusalem.
            Believe this: a new day is coming—in fact, it’s already here—
            when the importance will not be placed on the time and place of worship
            but on the truthful hearts of worshipers.
            You worship what you don’t know, while we worship what we do know,
            for God’s salvation in coming through the Jews.
            The Father is spirit,
            and He is seeking followers whose worship is sourced in truth
            and deeply spiritual as well.
            Regardless of whether you are in Jerusalem or on this mountain,
            if you do not seek the Father,
            then you do not worship.

Woman: I know the Messiah is coming—the one who is called Christ.
            When he comes, he will explain everything to us.
           
Jesus:  I am the Messiah!

Narr:    Just then his disciples came back.
            They were shocked to find him talking to a woman,
            but none of them had the nerve to ask, “What do you want with her?”
            or “Why are you talking to her?”

            The woman went back to the town, leaving her water pot behind.
            She stopped men and women on the streets
            and told them about what had happened.
            And because of her testimony, the village of Sychar was transformed—
            many Samaritans heard and believed.
            They approached Jesus and repeatedly invited Him to stay with them,
            so he lingered there for two days on their account.
            And as he spoke to them, many more came to believe.
            They began their faith journey because of the testimony of the woman at the well;
            but when they heard for themselves,
            they were convinced that Jesus was God’s Anointed –
            the Saviour sent to rescue the entire world.

this setting drew inspiration from The Voice Bible translation of Scripture, copyright © 2012 Thomas Nelson, Inc. http://www.hearthevoice.com/


Reflection

David Lose
Mount Olivet Lutheran Church

Sometimes I think the way we interpret this passage says as much about us as it does the passage.

For this is a passage and story that has, in my opinion, been notoriously misinterpreted, in part because we read it in isolation of the rest of John’s gospel and in part because of the Church’s history of bad treatment of women.

So let me lay my cards on the table: I don’t think the Samaritan woman is a prostitute. I don’t think that she has a shady past. And I don’t think Jesus forgives her. Rather, I think he calls her not to repentance but to life-giving faith. Allow me to explain.

The character who occupies center stage of this passage is a woman of Samaritan descent, and even if we don’t know what that means, John goes out of his way to tell us. First, Jews and Samaritans don’t get along (verse 9); second, women and men generally keep a safe social distance from each other (verse 27).

All of which explains why she is so surprised when Jesus asks her for a drink. When she makes a remark to that effect, he offers her living water. Confused, but intrigued, she asks about this miraculous water. Jesus eventually invites her to call her husband, and when she replies that she has no husband, he agrees: “You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband” (4:18).

And that’s precisely the sentence that has moved preachers of all stripes and across the centuries to brand her a prostitute. Yet if we read more closely we discover that there is nothing in the passage that makes this an obvious interpretation. Neither John as narrator nor Jesus as the central character supply that information. Jesus at no point invites repentance or, for that matter, speaks of sin at all. She very easily could have been widowed or have been abandoned or divorced. Five times would be heartbreaking, but not impossible.

Further, she could now be living with someone that she was dependent on, or be in what’s called a Levirate marriage (where a childless woman is married to her deceased husband’s brother in order to produce an heir yet is not always technically considered the brother’s wife). There are any number of ways, in fact, that one might imagine this woman’s story as tragic rather than scandalous.

The difficulty with the all too regular interpretation is that it interrupts and distracts from the rest of the story. Immediately after Jesus describes her past, she says, “I see that you are a prophet” and asks him where one should worship. If you believe the worst of her, this is nothing more than a clumsy attempt to change the topic.

But if you can imagine another scenario, things look different. Keep in mind that “seeing,” in John, is an important theological activity. “To see” is often connected with belief. When the woman says, “I see you are a prophet,” she is therefore not changing the subject but making a confession of faith.

Why? Because Jesus has “seen” her. He has seen her plight of dependence, not immorality. He has recognized her, spoken with her, offered her something of incomparable worth. He has seen her — he exists for her, has worth, value, significance, and all of this is treatment to which she is unaccustomed. And so when he speaks of her past both knowingly and compassionately, she realizes she is in the presence of a prophet.

For this reason only does she risk the central question that has divided Samaritans and Jews for centuries: where is the proper place of worship? This is no awkward dodge or academic diversion. This is a heartfelt question that gets to the core of what separates her from Jesus. And when Jesus surprises her with an answer that is simultaneously more hopeful and penetrating than she’d expected, she leaves her water jar behind to tell her neighbors about this man.

Can we imagine that? That John has not placed before us a morality tale but rather is offering this woman as a striking and inspiring example of faith? Of what happens when Jesus likewise sees us and invites us to see and believe in him in return? …..

This woman…is a Samaritan woman of no account (she is not even named) who comes at noon. Not, by the way, because she was ashamed of her shady past and so wanted to avoid her neighbors — as the traditional interpretation reads — but because just as darkness represents disbelief in John, so also daylight signifies faith. In the presence of the “light of the world,” this woman leaves behind her ordinary tasks and life (symbolized by her water jar) to share the extraordinary news of the one who sees us truly and deeply (“he told me everything I have done”), loves us as we are, and commissions us to share this news with others.

………..This nameless woman, shares the same insight and activity as Jesus’ principle disciples, except perhaps that where they each told one other person, she tells all her neighbors!

So let’s admit that how we interpret this passage says a lot about us and our theology. And then let’s interpret this passage… as John inviting us to imagine that anyone — even someone as unlikely as this nameless Samaritan woman … or unlikely as us! — is seen by Jesus, loved by Jesus, and has the capacity to bear witness to the one who comes to enlighten our lives and world and to give us living water to satisfy even our deepest thirst.

Taken from https://www.workingpreacher.org/preaching.aspx?commentary_id=1920 on 8/1/20


Creed

In you, Father all-mighty, we have our preservation and our bliss.
In you, Christ, we have our restoring and our saving. You are our mother, brother, and Savior. 
In you, our Lord the Holy Spirit, is marvelous and plenteous grace.
         You are our clothing; for love you wrap us and embrace us.
         You are our maker, our lover, our keeper.
Teach us to believe that by your grace all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well.    
Amen


Prayers of Intercession

Living Water (inspired by Exodus 17: 1-7)

In the dry wildernesses of our lives,
in the days of heat and thirst,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When we begin to doubt your presence,
and grumble that your love is unreliable,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When life’s regrets and the bad choices we have made
leave us feeling excluded and unworthy,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

When circumstances, or the inhumanity of others,
have left us alone and wounded,
you offer us living water,
Thank you, gracious and generous God.

We thank you and praise you, O God,
that how ever we may thirst,
what ever we may need to satisfy our souls,
you offer it freely and abundantly in Christ;

So we drink deep of the living water
and, as we draw from your wells,
we seek to pass the cup to others
who, like us, are thirsty for your grace.

Amen


Lord’s Prayer

Closing Prayer

Benediction

Go with the strength you have.
Go simply
lightly
gently
Go in search of Love.
And know the Spirit of God goes with you.
Amen.


Closing Song: Jesus Met the Woman by Peter, Paul & Mary

Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
And He told her everything she’d ever done

He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?”
He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?”
He said, “Woman, woman, where is your husband?”
“I know everything you’ve ever done”

She said, “Jesus, Jesus, I ain’t got no husband”
She said, “Jesus, Jesus, I ain’t got no husband”
She said, “Jesus, Jesus, ain’t got no husband”
“And You don’t know everything I’ve ever done”

He said, “Woman, woman, you’ve got five husbands
“He said, “Woman, woman, you’ve got five husbands
“He said, “Woman, woman, you’ve got five husbands”
“And the one you have now, he’s not your own”

She said, “This man, this man, He must be a prophet”
She said, “This man, this man, He must be a prophet”
She said, “This man, this man, He must be a prophet”
“He done told me everything I’ve ever done”

Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
Jesus met the woman at the well
And He told her everything she’d ever done


Postlude

Chris Johansen