Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”John 4:16-26
I arrived in Albuquerque midday and spent the afternoon driving to Farmington. The drive is beautiful, mesas, canyons and snow capped mountains in the distance. It is also very dry here and I got to wondering about water and wells. Some of the streams across the Navajo Nation have been polluted by run off from mines and drilling. Where did people go in ages past to get water? And did they meet holy people at that water source?
Jesus encounters a Samaritan woman at the well and treats her with dignity and kindness. They are from different traditions but their people share some ancestors and some land. Their stories weave together even though the lines and boundaries have drawn them apart. We find Jesus treating the woman as a relative and friend, with kindness and understanding. Her life is complicated and she would be shamed by his kind, but there is no judgement, just invitation. We are invited by God to really how Jesus treats the supposed enemy, the cast away, the isolated. He treats her with respect and honor and we are invited to follow his lead.
Today, I ask God to help me to see each and every person as Jesus does - as a member of the family and a friend. May we speak and live that truth, that God's love and gift are for all people. May we love and welcome all as well.