Skip to main content

lent 2: water


"lent 2, 2017: water"
mixed media (acrylic paint, found papers, gel medium, glitter, waterpaint, glass beads)
march, 2017
gregory a. milinovich

as i continue to journey through my lenten discipline of creating something each week that serves as my response to the theme and text in worship that week.  since we are focusing on "the landscapes of lent" at St. Paul's UMC and Wesley Foundation, we began on ash wednesday by looking at ashes, then last week at the wilderness.  this week we turned to the story of the woman at the well, and talked about water, and about what really satisfies us.  

somewhere in us - in all of us, i daresay - is a hole.  a hunger.  a desire.  a need for fulfillment.  some have called it a God-shaped hole.  in any case, the lining of that cavity, at least for many of us, is lined with the scars of many attempts to fill it with that which doesn't quite fit, or fulfill, in any case.  that must have been true for the samaritan woman, drawing her water at jacob's well in the heat of the day, so she didn't have to deal with her neighbors' judging glares and whispered gossip.  after all, she had quite the reputation, and had gone from man to man, from lover to lover, in search of fulfillment.  she was still at it, with a man to whom she was not married, trying to fill that space, satisfy that soul-need.  

and as she prepares to gather her water, Jesus speaks with her.  he points the obvious: that she has to keep quenching her thirst at this well.  everyday.  she comes back.  time after time, the thirst - the hunger - returns.  he may be talking water.  or he may be talking about a deeper desire insider her.  either way, he says he has something that could truly satisfy her: living water.  he tells her that this gift, while it starts with the jews, spreads outward like ripples on the surface of a pond, to samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  

so i'm thinking about water.  in my faucet.  in my shower.  in my glass with dinner.  in frozen form, blanketing our front yard right now.   water everywhere, to the ends of the earth.  and i'm thinking about what i'm filling myself with.  how am i trying to be satisfied?  do i keep going to the well, day after day, trying to feed a spiritual hunger with a physical cure, all the while scarring myself and forgetting that there is One who is all i'll ever need?  i'm trying to drink deeply of that truth.  

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

i will give you a new name

in our church, we are continuing with a series called "letters from Jesus," in which we are looking at the seven letters in the beginning of revelation addressed to seven churches in asia.  we are imagining what it would be like if we were to receive a hand-written letter from Jesus to our church.  what would it say?  how would we be encouraged?  how would we be challenged? 

we've looked at three of the letters now.  this week we looked at the letter to the church in pergamum.  the letter to them includes some harsh criticism of some of their behavior, but it also says that Christ understands how difficult their situation is.  and in case they feel like they are stuck in their sinfulness, Jesus says something amazing to them:  i will give you a new name. 

the world gives us so many names, doesn't it?  our parents, of course, give us our birth names.  but the naming doesn't stop there.  it continues right on through elementary school, high school, and into the …

running uphill in the wilderness (one step at a time)

back in early june, as part of an overall effort to get more healthy, i started jogging.  i was just kind of walking and running a couple of miles to start off, but over the last 4 months i've been staying consistent, which has helped me to run faster and further, lose some weight, and just generally be healthier.  on fridays, which are my day off, i try to run a longer distance, and i've been adding a mile every other week or so, which meant that today i ran 9 miles in about 99 minutes, which isn't great, but it isn't terrible, either.  mostly, it just feels good to be doing it, and to feel healthier in a general sense, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and so on. 

but there is one area that i haven't felt great about.  professionally, these last 8 months have been, without doubt, some of the most difficult in my 21+ years of full-time ministry.  now don't get me wrong: i love my job.  i really do.  it is so much more than just a job for me, but a vocatio…

Milinovich Family Christmas, 2019

merry Christmas, yinz guys.  we've been marking our advent journeys with an annual video now for the last twelve years!  for this latest installment, we used the Tractors' version of "Run, Run Rudolph," as a metaphor for all of our running around, and i hope it shows that we've had a real blast this year, preparing for Christmas.  you'll see scenes from getting our tree, making cookies, concerts, impromptu dance sessions, making snowflakes, and much more.  enjoy.