Monday, March 9, 2009
Water and Faith
"Many people in that town of Samaria believed in Jesus because of what the woman said about him." John 4:39
Sometimes it is hard to be believed. When I was first ordained, I remember sitting in the trailer where our offices were. The Cathedral was under construction, and so we had a double wide for more than a year to work from. It was a typical double wide which means that even though we were partitioned in offices, one could hear pretty much everything that went on. I was reveling in my new role, an ordained woman in a crisp new clergy shirt with a bright white clerical collar. I was working diligently on the fall curriculum for the Sunday school when one of the construction workers stuck his head into my office and asked for the parish administrator. I told him where her offices were and he headed off to find her. In a few moments I heard, "the nun down the hall sent me here to find you!" Women who find themselves in roles traditionally done by men can find themselves facing confusion and disbelief from others.
The Samaritan women who met Jesus at the well, was one of the first heralds of the presence of the Savior. Jesus changed her life forever and she wanted to tell everyone about it. She had been bold to begin with, having a conversation with a Jewish man. Bolder still, they talked about personal things and about big faith issues. Jesus did not put her away because of who she was, or because of her past. He told her that he was the Christ, the one whom everyone had been waiting for. Jesus trusted her with the truth, a truth which only a few disciples and other followers had been told. She took what he said to heart and shared that good news with her whole community. They wanted to believe so they came out to find Jesus, and then invited him to stay for a few days. Women who find themselves by the well or the baptismal font can sometimes be disbelieved because that are proclaiming truth. But Jesus didn't hold back because she was a woman or a Samaritan woman. Love was and is for all.
Today, I want to live with that understanding. Love is for all no matter what barriers the world constructs. We divide by language and race by ethnicity and gender. But God sees all of our diversity and honors our gifts equally. The love of God and the roles of proclamation are for anyone who draws water and hears the truth. God's love is poured out for the whole world and not for just a righteous few who show up on Sundays. It is for the broken down as well as the elevated, the poor as well as the weak, the outcast as well as the chosen ones. And God chooses all sorts to be the heralds of the good news, the that God's love has come into the world, and that all people are welcomed in the reign of God.