I realize it is mostly my mom who reads this (Hi, Mom!), but I am sorry for missing last week. While I’m not going to reflect on that here today, the sermon for “Earth” is online here. Grab a can of Play Doh and check it out if you want 🙂 — The Play Doh will make more sense if you watch it.
The beginning of John 4 tells about Jesus’ encounter with a “Samaritan Woman.” I love this story for a number of reasons. First of all, because I see it as an invitation for ALL PEOPLE.
Samaritans and Jewish people didn’t hang out in Jesus’ time. In fact, there was quite a bit of animosity between the two groups. Jesus didn’t care.
Women and men didn’t really hang out alone in Jesus’s time. It would have been seen as improper and not right for a leader to be alone with a woman. Jesus didn’t care.
This woman, we read, has been married 5 times and is currently living with a man who isn’t her husband. A spiritual leader should not have been alone with her. Jesus didn’t care.
But in fact, Jesus DID care. Jesus knew exactly who this woman was, what she had done, and he invited her into a life of love with him anyways. Not in spite of who she was, but her life-story, her gifts and graces are needed in God’s world too.
Jesus invites us into a relationship with a “who” not a “what.” It is so easy (for devout Christians or tepid wanderers) to believe Faith is about doing the right thing. While actions are so important, this passage from John reminds us that (perhaps) above actions is a relationship with God — the “Who” not the “what.”
When we look for relationship with God (which is as simple and hard as loving your neighbor, yourself and God), we will find that our thirsty souls, our needy and achy bodies, our worn-out spirits, will be refreshed by the only source of “living water.”
This week, take some time to look around. You may find you are in a desert or maybe you’re in a lush garden or maybe somewhere in between. Wherever you are, look for God. Not a thing, but a Who. Look for a moment of encounter with something beyond your knowing. Loosen your grip and fall into the mercy of God. That is where you drink from a well that will never run dry and will quench your every thirst.
Grace & Peace, Pastor Cole