The Arena
The Arena

Episode 568 · 8 months ago

Our Thirsty Bridegroom | Samaritan Woman 2022


The Arena Podcast is the flagship of Patristic Nectar Publications and contains the Sunday Sermons and other theological reflections by Father Josiah Trenham delivered from the ambon of St. Andrew Church in Riverside, California and begun in 2010. Currently there are more than 550 sermons and lectures covering ten years worth of preaching through the liturgical calendar.

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Hey everyone, Christ is risen. It's father Josiah. I want to tell you about our upcoming annual patristic nectar conference. It's entitled Holy Orthodoxy, presenting the Christian faith. It's going to be June three to five here at Saint Andrew Church in Riverside. I'd like to invite you all to come. You can come in person or you can schedule yourself to participate in the live stream, including q and a, and you'll be able to have all of the presentations put into your account at the conclusion of the conference. We have a great lineup of speakers. The keynotes father maximus constance, but dr t conpino will be speaking, father bog done buckler and myself. Hope you can come. God be with you. For these and other titles, please visit our website at patristic nectar dot org. And now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna. The name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit, Christ is risen, I've entitled my homily this morning. Brothers and sisters, are thirsty bridegroom, and I want to preach to you on this Marvelous Gospel text of the Samaritan Woman, Saint Pultiny. A little background. It's John Chapter Four, as you heard if you were here for Orthros. This is the longest dialog and all of the Gospels between Jesus and any person. The context in John is a missions context. This is John for John Three. Just think of John Three, Jesus interacting with Nicodemus, teaching him about how to be born again, how to actually see and enter into the Kingdom of God. Lots of baptism going on, lots of preaching going on. Think of John Sixteen, for God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in him might not perish but have everlasting life.

This is the context, this is the background. And then Jesus comes to Sumaria and we have the story of tiny that climaxes and ends in the conversion of her entire village. It's a missions context. John says in the text that Jesus was baptizing and making disciples even more than John. That's an incredible statement. Think of what you know about the forerunner, how large the crowds were at the Jordan River. All of the descriptions of John's ministry was that it was expansive, it was massive. He was bringing people into relationship with God, teaching them repentant, bringing them to the waters of baptism. And then John writes to us that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John. This is a scene, this is an outbreak of grace. And then he says, but not Jesus, but his disciples were baptizing. It's an interesting comment. He says Jesus is baptizing and he's not baptizing. What does he mean? It's a beautiful comment, I think, and very helpful for us. Jesus, the church, says, baptized the apostles, but he won people to the faith in him, he brought them to repentance and then his disciples, in his name, were doing the baptisms. So yes, Jesus was baptizing through his disciples, and that pattern remains true to this day. When our priests and our bishops baptized people, they're the ones physically doing it, but it's Christ doing it. It's his hand that's on that head, it's His grace infused into that person. It's Christ bringing that person...

...into union with himself. So this is the background. The background is this context of incredible mission and preaching. Now think with me a little bit more about what's happening with the Samaritan woman. Samaria, just north of Judea, is the place of heresy. It's the place of the half breeds. This is the area where the Assyrians came in seven hundred and twenty two BC and took the ten unfaithful Jewish tribes into exile, from which they would never return. As a result, the Assyrians populated this area with many pagans, and so it became known as a mixed place, a holy history that led to apostasy under kings like Jeribom, who didn't want the Jews to go to Jerusalem and obedience to God's commandments and participate in the feasts, and so he put blocks on the borders. He actually made massive idols and told the Jews this is your God, no need to go to Jerusalem. Worship here. He made a bogus, hokey priesthood that was not connected to the the vitical line and Aaron's blood at all. He made up his religion. It would have been a good American religion, religious practition. He made it up. The result is that the faithful who lived in those areas had a very difficult life. They came, people like tobit. People came for the feast nonetheless, but many compromise. Many were syncretists, and so faithful Jews, if they were going to go to the north, up to Galilee instead of going through Samaria, they would prefer not to know. Thanks. They went around it, but not the Lord, and this is the first thing I want you to see. Jesus comes into Sumaria and he comes to that place of Jacobs well. That well was about one thousand nineteen hundred years old when Jesus came... it. Look at the preservation of that holy place. It's about as far before Jesus as we are after Jesus. The principle of honoring the places where God has worked his wonders, this is not something that we made up, you know, after Constantine converted or something like this. This is what the people of God were doing and of always done, marking in holiness places where God has manifested himself and worked wonders for us. And so the Jews of the first century, they still honored Jacobs well. Full Timni came to the well at noon. I'll explain that in a little bit. When it was high, the sun was high. But Jesus came into Samaria and he sat down and he sent his disciples away because they had driven themselves in their preaching and teaching and baptizing to exhaustion. They were zealous and Jesus was hungry, as were his disciples, and so they went away. And then Jesus revealed what he was really hungry for. The disciples found out when they came back with you know, first century McDonald's, whatever it was, and he didn't want any of it. He didn't want any of it, and they thought to themselves, they scratched their heads. Who brought him food? And Jesus, knowing that they were thinking that, said to them, I have food to eat. You know nothing about my food is to do the will of him who sent me into a complish this worked. The fields are ripe for harvest. Jesus reveals what he was really thirsty for, what he was really hungry for. The first's for people, faithful people, us. This is what he thirsts for, this is what he hungers for. And so while his disciples were out getting some Munchie's Jesus immediately engaged this poor woman, this woman who was a complete mess. She was coming at noon to the...

...well because she was an outcast, she was a public sinner. She couldn't just mingle and be with the other pious maidens and mom's of her town. They wanted nothing to do with her. She had been married five times and she was living in fornication with the sixth. She was a slave. She was a slave and she did as so many of us do. We all know this right. We all have something that we know is not good, and we just keep going back and we keep going back and we keep going back, drawing this dead water that does not satisfy, does not bring us to anything that we truly hope to accomplish in our life. And this is Foltyni. Jesus thirsts for her, he's panting for her and he finds her. The second thing I want you to see is what Jesus wants to give to her. The Lord Thirst for us, but not to make us abject slaves, for goodness she already was one. He thirst for us, to glorify us, to transfigure us, to make us radiant and beautiful, satisfied renewed forever. Listen to what he told her. He gave her language of inner renewal. He told her, sweetheart, stop this, stop coming and drawing from this well, leave it aside, which we're going to see she did in just a minute. John makes a beautiful comment. She drops her jar. That's very symbolic. She's done with it. I know, I...

...know that the Lord is punishing me for my sins. I know he is. He's always doing it because I have not repented enough. So, even though I beg he says to me, father, you have a lot more changing to do, and so I'm going to I'm going to use your parishioners to to to fix you. All right, I accept it. I accept it. Look what the Lord's doing. He reveals her vacuousness, he reveals her emptiness, and then he offers her everything. He offers her to get, offers to give her, at this well, living water that will satisfy everything that she desires, that will spring up in her a fountain Unto Eternal Life. This is what he offers her. You know, you have to see something, how intimate this is, how beautiful this is. God is thirsty for us. He's relentless in His mercy, seeking us. But what does he want? Did he want us just so he can make us some servants? Not at all. This well language, this well language, is very, very important. Jesus is talking about internal renewal, but it's in the context of love, it's in the context of union with him, is in the context of marriage. In the in the scriptures, when you see a well, that's the first thing that you should think. You should think marriage. Why? When Abraham the patriarch needed a wife for his son Isaac, he sent his service servant out to find a pious woman. At where did he find her? He found her Rebecca, at the well. When Jacob needed a wife, where did he find Rachel? At the well? When Moses needed a wife, where definder, Zippora came to him at the...

...well. This well imagery represents, in the language of the Scriptures, the beautiful nuptial joy of Union of man and wife. In fact, King Solomon takes it in the most intimate and illustrative sometimes it might even be embarrassing for our young people to hear this, which I'm about to quote from the proverbs, proverbs chapter five. Drink waters from your own sistern, sweet water from your own well. Why should your waters be dispersed abroad in this in the streets? No, the being exhilarated in the Wat and the wife of your youth let her breast satisfy you at all times. Drink from this well, this well, not with that of an adulterous he says. Here's this beautiful language where Solomon Describes God's blessing on the Union of a new, newly married couple. And what language is in it? It's the fruitfulness of fresh water from a well. She understood what her savior was asking. He was saying, sweetheart, accept me, the one that you say you've been looking for. I'm standing in front of you. I'm the Messiah, the one you and your people and my people, to Jews, from whom salvation comes. I'm the one everyone's been waiting for. She was completely undone, completely and totally undone. This is why God wants us. He is a bridegroom who won't who takes the filthy. What kind of bridegroom, looking for a wonderful...

...bride, goes after a woman who obviously has no idea dea what she's doing with a man? What kind of bridegroom goes off after a woman who's been married five times and is living in sin with a sixth only, someone who's not seeking something from himself for himself, but seeking to give something. Usually men are looking for some young wife who's pure, who's smart, wonderful, you know who. They write their little list out. That's not our savior. Our Savior is looking for someone who will trust him, someone who will believe in him, and then he'll make us that list, which is exactly what happened. And this is the third thing I want to point out. Jesus is thirsty for people. The reason he's thirsty for people is so that he can transform people and glorify them and make them even into his own bride. She represents the church. And third that mercy, that salvation that he comes to give us. It is demanding and it always leads to service. Look what happened to Faultini. First you see her dropper pot, that symbolic of her own conversion, her own being done with her path no more, come into the same stupid well and trying the same thing over and over and over and trying to satisfy herself with the Earth. That's done. Then Jesus teaches her about worship. Right in the middle of his conversation. He said you worship what you don't know. The father seeks those who will worship him in spirit and in truth. He taught her. Look, you need to worship the one God and his son, the truth and the Holy Spirit. You need to worship the true God. You know, the image in the scripture is that the river of life comes from under the altar. Worship,...

...dear ones, is the core. It's the center of our life from which everything else flows. If everything's good outside but you're neglecting worship, nothing will be good. But if you keep enthroned in your life the worship of God, if you allow him to lead you, to stand before him as your first ambition, everything makes sense. Everything else is watered by that worship, and that worship always leads to service, which is exactly what she did. What did she do? She immediately ran into her village and she did something hard to do. Can you imagine trying to say something about the truth to people who know who you are when you've been rather colorful? What did she think they were going to say? Oh, everyone listen to her, or she really she's got a great, you know, life of you know, for which we can trust her. No, she was very humble. She talked about her since. Let me show you the man. Come and deserve her words. Come and see the man that's it. Come and see the man who told me everything I've done. What humility, what witness. They came, they heard with their own ears and then they proclaimed it's no longer because of what you said. We have heard with our own ears and we have seen and we have come to believe that he is the savior of the world. Everyone who meets God, everybody who has this encounter with Christ, always Serbs. Always. This is what God's calling us to. This is the wonder of St Fultine. This is why God's seeking us and thirsting for..., so he can join us to himself, dear ones, and he can then use us as his hands, as his mouth, as his agent for bringing the water of life to other people. This woman became not just a little bit good. This woman won her sister. She was one of five sisters. She won her sister. She had two sons. She won her two sons. She became an evangelist, she went to Carthage evangelift all over northern Africa and then ended in Rome, where she herself one Domina, the daughter of all people, of Emperor Neuro to the faith where sin abound it, Grace Super Abounds to the glory of the book about it. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in other available titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot patristic nectar dot org.

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