By: Bethany Apelquist
John 4:5-42
Reflection—v. 11 ‘Sir, you have no bucket’

We all have a friend who is the practical thinker, the one who points out all the ways a plan could go wrong, the friend who can look at the resources and assess the best way forward. I imagine this woman sitting at the well with Jesus was that friend. Jesus asks her for some water and she points out the obvious problem that Jesus seems to be overlooking, that he doesn’t have a bucket. But then Jesus surprises her and offers her the unexpected–he offers her water that doesn’t require a bucket, he offers her water that is life itself. It is easy to think that if there is no bucket there is no water, that if we don’t have a picture perfect plan, God can’t work. But what if we opened our hearts to be suprised by God, to be suprised by the ways that God can move, and to be surprised by the gifts that God offers each of us–gifts of grace, gifts of creativity, gifts of mercy, gifts of kindness, and gifts that don’t fit into our small buckets, but rather fill and overflow our hearts and our communities with the unexpected. Maybe then we will feel more free–more free to offer others gifts of love, mercy, and kindness. Maybe then we will be more free to be creative, to try something new, and to believe that just like Jesus offered the woman water that satisfies her soul, Jesus offers water for our souls.

Prayer Thank you God for all the ways you surprise us and the way you remind us of our precious gifts. May we be free to be creative as we share our gifts with others.

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