Dark Side of the Moon

In the beginning, there was just tohu wa’bohu –  “In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth (lit. skies and the land) and the earth was without form or shape ( tohu wa’bohu; wilderness and wasteland | nothingness, no purpose or order) with darkness over the abyss (deep, symbolic for chaos) and a mighty wind (ruah, wind, Spirit, breath, presence) sweeping over the waters.” A lot going on there.  But “Then God said: Let there be light, and there was light.”  Simple, clean. Continue reading

Conversation: Part 1

This coming weekend is the 3rd Sunday of Lent. In the previous post we delved into all might be implied in the simple opening which tells us where and when. We raised the question of whether it was simple geographical information or was St. John providing theological clues and breadcrumbs. Now we begin to consider the dialogue that ensues. The dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman consists of thirteen exchanges, one of the longest dialogues in the Gospel. It is divided into two sections, each section introduced by a request/command by Jesus: (I ) vv.7-15 (“Give me a drink”); (2) vv.16-26 (“Go, call your husband”). Continue reading

Jesus’ arrival at the well

This coming weekend is the 3rd Sunday of Lent. In the previous post we quickly reviewed the religious and political history of the Samaritans in order to place this story in stark contrast to what came before: when Jesus spoke with Nicodemus (3:1-21), he spoke with a named male of the Jewish religious establishment, a “teacher of Israel.” When Jesus speaks to the Samaritan woman, he speaks with an unnamed female of an enemy people:  So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of land that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there. Jesus, tired from his journey, sat down there at the well. It was about noon. (vv.5-6)
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