A Conversation at the Well (October 1, 2012)

…Opening To…

I am a flower quickly fading (here today and gone tomorrow)
A wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling; Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
And you’ve told me who I am: I am yours. (Casting Crowns)

…Listening In…

The woman said, “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one who is called the Christ. When he comes, he will teach everything to us.” Jesus said to her, “I Am–the one who speaks with you.” (John 4:25-26; context)

…Filling Up…

Jesus is exhausted. He is worn out from his travels, so he sends the disciples into town to get some lunch. Then he sits down, props his back up against the warm bricks of a well, and takes a nap. Soon a woman comes to draw water, and Jesus asks her for a drink. This is strange for two reasons. First, in his society, unacquainted men and women didn’t converse with one another in public. Second, Jesus wasn’t in his own land, and this woman was from a people – the Samaritans – that Jesus’ people didn’t deal with.

Of course, Jesus doesn’t usually hold to social conventions. So, he asks her for a drink, and they get to talking about all sorts of stuff – the water in the well, a special kind of life-giving water that Jesus will give her, the woman’s marital status, the proper places to pray. The woman is impressed with Jesus, but perhaps a bit scared of him, of what he knows about her. Jesus continues talking about prayer and the right way to worship, and the woman seems to lose track of his train of thought. But then she surprises him by saying: “I know that the Messiah is coming, the one who is called the Christ. When he comes, he will teach everything to us.”

I imagine Jesus, who has probably entered “preaching mode,” stopping in mid-sentence. This woman knows more than she lets on. Of this Messiah, he says, “I am he, the one who speaks to you.” Except that he doesn’t say, “I am he.” He says simply, “I Am.” In these two words, Jesus opens up to this woman and to us that fact that his identity is divine. This week, we are looking at these two words – at what they mean for Jesus and at what they mean for us.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you teach me new things everyday. You teach me about myself, about your world, and about you. Thank you for giving me the ability to learn and grow into the identity you have chosen for me; in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that you are the foundation of all creation. I exist because you have spoken and loved me into existence.

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