John 4:31-38

Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to complete his work. Do 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. The reaper is already receiving wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

This is John’s Jesus as his philosophical best. Far more loquacious than the Jesus portrayed in the other three Gospels, Jesus in John’s account talks a lot more than he heals or feeds. And so we should not perhaps be surprised that Jesus takes the opportunity between the Samaritan woman’s departure and her return to instruct his disciples on two matters.

1) Doing God’s will is fulfilling. But we should probably be careful with that word “will,” as too often it can be interpreted as God having a detailed, day-by-day plan for each of our lives. I think God’s will is better understood as being the kind of person God has called you to be, using your gifts and taking advantage of opportunities to act in accord with God’s desire that all know God’s love for them and enjoy abundant life. And when you do that, it’s better than eating out at your favorite restaurant.

2) There are opportunities for service – indeed, for living God’s will – all around and, in particular, right in front of you. It doesn’t take a lot of prep time, in other words, to find an opportunity to share God’s love and mercy and help care for the people and world God loves so much. The harvest is plentiful, to borrow from another place in Scripture, and we are all called to be workers.

Prayer: Dear God, let us see opportunities for serving you by caring for others all around us and may we, in doing so, know the pleasure of doing your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.