Sometimes there are things that just hit you a certain way. They rattle around inside your head, bouncing off the walls, keeping you from escaping the lesson that desires to have you learn it. The scripture for this past Sunday, March 27, was from John 4, the woman at the well. I heard a devotion on the scripture and was profoundly impacted by it. So, what is it that keeps bouncing off the walls inside MY head? Well, here’s what I have to get out…
The woman at the well didn’t have much going for her. It was easy for others to find something wrong with her, based off the life she was living. But Jesus approached the woman with grace and love. Before he ever began to speak about her life of ill-repute, he simply invited her to be generous–he asked her for a drink of water. Jesus gave her a chance to be giving. A good friend of mine says little talk leads to big talk. Before you know it, the conversation went from talking about water to her running into the town saying Come see a man who told me everything I had ever done! She went from being cast out to being excited about Jesus.
The lesson here is that Jesus got around to where her life was going wrong after he had talked to her like a person who deserved a chance and not like a person who was condemned-already. Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand means “turn around and walk into the kingdom that is here” NOT “you’re going to HELL if you don’t change your ways.” People need to be ready to hear the truth or their faith will be based on fear (or sometimes it will result in no faith at all). Jesus made the woman ready through his conversation with her, through giving her respect.
Sometimes, you just have to get it out. I have been so moved by the fact that ministry truly is about relationship, about respect, about patience, about dignity. I pray that God will restore your dignity if you feel shamed or unworthy. Christ makes us all worthy as he reaches out to welcome us into his kingdom. All we must do is turn around and look toward the kingdom at hand.