Kathy was a homeless girl.
Everywhere she went, she clutched a can— an aluminum paint can.
She would kiss the can; she worshipped the can.
“What’s in the can?” asked the nun at the shelter.
“My mother… her ashes,” was Kathy’s answer. “She threw me in a dumpster just after I was born. But the police found me. I found my mother in a hospital the day she died. She told me that she loved me… the funeral home gave me her ashes.”
Just a sniff of Love, and Kathy would not stop idolizing a can of ashes.
I don’t know if she ever put the can down… have you?
In John 4, at the sixth hour, Jesus meets a woman at a well in Samaria and asks her for a drink. “How is it that you, a Jew, would ask a drink from me?” asks the Samaritan woman.
“If you knew… who it is that is [asking]… you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water,” Jesus replies.
She responds, “Give me this water!”
Then Jesus says, “Go, call your husband.”
Let me paraphrase: “What is in your paint can? What have you been drinking that leaves you so thirsty?”
The woman says, “I have no husband.”
“What you have said is true.” Jesus reveals that she has had five husbands and is now with a sixth man; Jesus would be the seventh.
“Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet,” says the woman. “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain… you say… Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.”
Jesus replies, “The hour (the seventh hour) is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth.”
“I know Messiah is coming… and he will tell us all things,” says the woman.
“I Am, the one who is speaking to you,” responds Jesus.
She left her earthenware water jar, she left her paint can, and she told everyone, “Come, see…”
#1 Jesus knows us; he swims in our paint cans.
#2 We know him, for he is the good in everything that is anything, and he sits by your well in dust and ashes.
#3 God is looking for worshipers who will worship him in Spirit and in Truth.
#4 If we don’t worship God, we will worship something, and thereby turn that something into an idol and so destroy ourselves and our idol.
#5 When we worship God, idols turn into temples.
#6 You are your own idol, and you are the temple of the living God.
#7 In the temple, there is a fountain that was once a well.
Jesus says, “The water that I will give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
That’s a strange thing to say, for the water appears to be flowing the wrong direction, and from the inside out rather than the outside in.
That’s strange, unless Jesus was to give you that water deep inside, from behind a curtain where he has been, perhaps ever since God breathed his Spirit into your earthen vessel in the beginning.
That’s strange, unless your thirst can only be satisfied by satisfying another’s thirst who drinks from that fountain which is you.
Perhaps he drinks you; you are dust and Spirit.
You are an earthen vessel.
But perhaps you are not a storage vessel, like a well, but a blood vessel, like a fountain—a fountain of life, a river of Life, welling up to eternal life in the Body of “the Life.”
When I was a young man, I watched “the Church” suck the life out of my dad, leaving me with a can of ashes.
Jesus once revealed to me that I was trying to suck “my life” back out of Church in order to fix my dad, myself, and the Church.
There are moments, often while preaching, when I feel so alive, as if a fountain is flowing, and Jesus is drinking, and I am happy.
But as soon as I think, “What did she think; what did the church think?” I start choking on the ashes I’m attempting to drink.
When I worship for any reason other than giving my Lord a drink, it’s not worship in Truth—it’s not exalting God; it’s using God to exalt myself. And it is not worship in Spirit. But when I’m intent on my Lord’s thirst, I forget my thirst. And yet, I drink and find myself… drunk by God, as if I am his water fountain, and he is more than happy to share all the water.
“Drink and be drunk with Love [or ‘by Love.’ God is Love.]” –Song of Solomon 5:1
Well, did Jesus ever get his drink?
On the sixth day, about the sixth hour, on a tree in a garden, he calls out, “I thirst.”
All your problems are due to the fact that you do not worship in Spirit and in Truth.
The solution to all your problems is worshiping in Spirit and in Truth.
But if you “worship” to solve your problems, you are not worshiping God; you are using God to fix your problems and worship yourself.
So, how does God in Christ Jesus get his drink?
On the tree in the garden, the “eschatos man,” the seventh man, our Husband, the head of our Body, cries, “It is finished,” and delivers up his Spirit.
It was then that a Roman Centurion began to worship in Spirit and in Truth.
It was then the curtain separating the Holy of Holies (and the presence of God) from the rest of the temple (filled with ashes) was ripped from top to bottom.
It was then that the fountain was opened.
It was then that the Bride was formed at the side of the last Adam.
It was then, is then, and will be then, that you begin to worship in Spirit and in Truth.
Jesus sits in the ashes beside your well.
He’s thirsty. Tell him about your ashes. Ask him for living water. And give him a drink.
Drink to be drunk by God.