Pilgrim Lodge Sunday

March 23, 2014 by Rev. Mollie Landers

The Samaritan woman at the well found out that the water she came for was not really the water she needed so desperately.? This woman had looked for love in many places, in many faces and when finally offered a soul-quenching love by Jesus, she became a powerful messenger of Good News.? Just as the water given by God that flowed in the desert for the Israelites offered new life, the desert of our lives can be refreshed if we look for love regularly at the well of living water and offer life-giving water to others.

John 4:5-42

5So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.?6Jacob?s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.

7?A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ?Give me a drink?.?8(His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.)?9The Samaritan woman said to him, ?How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?? (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.)?10Jesus answered her, ?If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ?Give me a drink?, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.??11The woman said to him, ?Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water??12Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it???13Jesus said to her, ?Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again,?14but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.??15The woman said to him, ?Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.?

16?Jesus said to her, ?Go, call your husband, and come back.??17The woman answered him, ?I have no husband.? Jesus said to her, ?You are right in saying, ?I have no husband?;?18for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!??19The woman said to him, ?Sir, I see that you are a prophet.?20Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you?say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.??21Jesus said to her, ?Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem.?22You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.?23But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.?24God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.??25The woman said to him, ?I know that Messiah is coming? (who is called Christ). ?When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.??26Jesus said to her, ?I am he,?the one who is speaking to you.?

27?Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, ?What do you want?? or, ?Why are you speaking with her???28Then the woman left her water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,?29?Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah,can he???30They left the city and were on their way to him.

31?Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, ?Rabbi, eat something.?32But he said to them, ?I have food to eat that you do not know about.?33So the disciples said to one another, ?Surely no one has brought him something to eat???34Jesus said to them, ?My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work.?35Do you not say, ?Four months more, then comes the harvest?? But I tell you, look around you, and see how the fields are ripe for harvesting.?36The reaper is already receiving?wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.?37For here the saying holds true, ?One sows and another reaps.??38I sent you to reap that for which you did not labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their labour.?

39?Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the woman?s testimony, ?He told me everything I have ever done.??40So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there for two days.?41And many more believed because of his word.?42They said to the woman, ?It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the world.?

Hello, thank you for having me here. How many of you have ever gone to camp?? What about church camp?? Tell me, what are some of the things you remember about church camp?

Camp is a welcoming place – some reflections and observations on camp …

-????????? Talk about driving down the camp road

-????????? Talk about first night at PL myself

-????????? Camp is about building community

-????????? PL is a place where children of all ages find their true selves

-????????? People learn how to welcome others

-????????? We work very hard to create a safe place for all God?s children, where behavioral boundaries maintained, and? trust is built.

-?????????Senior high story

-????????? With our Jesus the welcome-er as our best example, we seek to love others for who they are.? Because isn?t that what each of us yearn for?? To be loved for who we are?

Camp is about connecting with creation

-????????? Jesus gives us an example of ?going away to pray

-????????? As our world becomes filled with more and more screen time, importance of playing and just be-ing in the natural world becomes more important.

-????????? Connection to creation ? inspires joy, health, beaulty, creativity, understanding of the interconnectedness of all things

-????????? How are we to make decisions about mountain top removal, oil drilling, gas fracking, landfills, air pollution, big farming if we don?t go outside and know those mountains, lakes, oceans, and creeks?? Will our children know them enough and know their connection to them, to save them? Will we?

-????????? Being in creation and at camp helps us be more fully present to God.? God isn?t more present at camp.

-????????? Learning to pay attention in a new way, and wonder at creation

-????????? When one is at a place like Pilgrim Lodge, worshiping at the outdoor chapel, where the sun set perfectly between the two islands.? you pay attention in a new way.? When you are forced to put away the cell phones, and your time is kept by a bell, you pay attention in a new way.? When high schoolers start opening up about the difficulties of their lives, you pay attention in a new way.? When you sing songs jellyfish, moose, and a purple stew, and they are repeat after me songs, you pay attention in a new way.? As you fall asleep with the sounds of children?s laughter mixed with the cry of the loon, you pay attention to that still small voice, the I am, the Creator, the Christ, the Spirit. Can you imagine all of the possibilities that await when we pay attention in a new way?

Camp is a place for deep faith formation, to go where your spiritual journey may be leading you, to ask questions.

-????????? Noticing God in new and different ways can lead to a lot of questions.

-????????? At camp, we operate on the philosophy that no one has all the right answers.

-????????? This gives our volunteers counselors (which may very well be you!) freedom to not have to come up with the right answer.

-????????? A place for God?s children to ask questions ? and say honestly to one another ? I?m not sure, but this is what I think, or this is what I?ve read, or this is what it means to me, and then, ?what do you think??

The welcome, time in Creation, space for discovery and questions, all of this is done in the midst of and for the purpose of building community.? One of the very unique aspects of camp is that it is a short, intentional, practice in living, praying, playing, and eating in Christian community.? It is the combination of being supported for who you are, learning more about ones? faith, and the play and wonder of nature that mix together to make church camp an experience worth taking seriously.

Like the Samaritan woman who learns about the living water in today?s scripture, many people who come to Pilgrim Lodge to experience the joy of one type of water, and leave with the living water quenching their souls.

-????????? Some see summer camp simply fun in the sun.

-????????? But camp is where so many meet the love of God

-????????? Camp is beyond the nostalgic moments of kumbaya

-????????? It?s where people of all ages discover their true selves.

But it doesn?t end there.? The Samaritan woman is so excited about her interaction with Jesus, with the moment?s brush of divine unconditional love, that she doesn?t even bring her water pitcher back to the village with her.? She tells the people of the man she met, and the Good News she understands.

Oftentimes when campers leave Pilgrim Lodge, they are bursting with excitement, until they hit neck road, where they promptly fall asleep.? But when they awake, they are filled zest to tell people how our lives have been transformed by the love of God.? And in that unconditional love that the Samaritan woman felt and that so often our campers come to know ? they are compelled to live out their faith in a new way.? Just like the Samaritan woman, those filled with the Living Water can no longer keep their lives silent.? Lives filled with justice seeking, forgiveness giving, and mercy loving.

So won?t you join us at Pilgrim Lodge this summer?? For you never know when a campfire singing kumbya could turn into an encounter with the living Christ, offering Living Water.