Saturday, February 23, 2008

Living Water

Living Water

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?" (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans।) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water।" The woman said to him, "Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?" Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life."The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water."

Jesus met the woman at the well and that meeting transformed and enlightened an entire vast community. It all started with Christ's willingness to break taboos, to converse with a stranger, to treat her as an intellectual and spiritual equal (unheard of, in his time) and to share honestly with her. This compassion and integrity changed this woman's life and the course of history for her people. This conversation among strangers, two people whose traditional ancestors were enemies, whose cultures deemed unclean, this conversation invites us into a radically new understanding of where Christ is calling ua. We are called to know our culture and care for our people, but we are called to reach out beyond all barriers, all taboos to share God's love and to treat all other as intellectual, cultural and spiritual equals. For so many of us, this is very hard, especially when our cultures and traditions have been violated, trampled over and considered heathen and ignorant.

May we be invited by the Christ who sits at the well, who sits in the common squares, in shopping centers, at the bus stop and in the grocery store to reach out with compassion to the people who draw close to care for their families and communities. May we recognize in all other our need for living water and our relatedness. we are the children of God, and we are called t see all as family.

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