As we journey together through Lent, Christians throughout Columbia will be sharing their own beautifully written personal meditations. Each will be accompanied by a corresponding scripture reading, and be linked to that passage in the Holy Bible. If you would like to join us on Columbia’s Lenten journey, please submit your personal meditation by email. Especially meaningful submissions will be printed. Let us continue our Lenten journey, day by day, to its glorious culmination on Easter Sunday.
Scripture reading: John 4: 27-42
I feel so sorry for the poor disciples because they never truly understand Jesus’ point of view. In this passage, they come to Him as He is chatting with A Samaritan woman. Breaking all the rules – that’s their Jesus! They should be used to it. Jesus never does the expected. It’s like hanging out with a sweet maniac. At least this time they don’t ask Him what He’s doing; I guess they have figured out. He’s unpredictable. Maybe they think He used little judgment or is crazy, asking for trouble. He certainly doesn’t follow the rules.
After a few minutes, she leaves, and you and I have the advantage of knowing that she tells her village of her encounter with Jesus and many believe in the Messiah.
Meanwhile the disciples are getting another lesson about how to live. They are worrying about earthly things such as food, when Jesus turns it into a life lesson. Imagine their puzzled look as Jesus talks about the sowers and the reapers, when all they’ve done is ask if He has had lunch.
In the sower and reaper tale the concept of grace is so hard for the disciples and for us too. We all have the opportunity of accepting grace, the gift that we did nothing to get. At least if we win the lottery, we bought a ticket. We feel that we deserve to win.
Remember the McDonald’s ditty, “You deserve a break today?” Do you justify needing a new car, a new house, a vacation or just a treat for being good? Do you say to yourself, “I worked hard for this?” Jesus is talking about the gift of eternal life that you do nothing for; really you and I don’t deserve it at all.
It seems easier to deserve something for hard work – a raise, a new car, etc. But how about no work? To turn this idea around, how about rewarding an employee for nothing, a spouse for nothing, a stranger for nothing? Frankly, I find it hard to give freely for nothing, without thinking the receiver has cheated the system.
Jesus’ harvest was planted by God. All we have to do is use it. We didn’t even break a sweat planting it. We won the lottery without paying for the ticket. What a glorious prize we landed…for free.
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia Prayer Chain: Monday, February 25
In our prayers: Mary Ellen Joiner, Elizabeth Jean Emerson, Mary Reames, Richard Smith, Claudia Strattman, Jennifer Williams, Betty Jo Carson, Gary Davis, Eddie Bolton, Doug and Sharon, John Kelchner, Elizabeth Matthews, Nedrick Griffin, Jennifer Handy, Nancy Stuckey, Annemarie Sullivan, Greg and Lisa Steele, Dean Timothy Jones, Linda Langford, Marty Fritz, Harriet Hancock, Tommy and Robby Palmer, Patty and Ted Mac Laughlin, Janet Long, Bobby Wilson, Debbie and Pat Barry, Patrick and Patricia Barry, Jordan Hill, Doris Clevenger, Charles Sigel, Bob Davis, John Whatley, Nancy Zuckerman, Charles Davis Sr., Bill Carter, Betty Peavy Frick, Joye Cantrell, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Jerry Callahan, Norman Masters
Special prayers for Mary Ellen’s four-year-old grandson, Joseph Patrick, who is fighting cancer
In memoriam: Mamie Starks Belton, Michael Joseph Brown, Raymond T. Burrell, Margaret Adams Brown-Loyd, Helen Aye Samples, Wilbur Ronald Fulmer, Sgt. Maj. Harvey Parks, Helen Lucille Tindall Mooneyham, Robert Weyman Kyzer
Our prayers are with: the elderly, the homeless, all currently fighting illness, all beloved pets, our president and congress, our police officers and firefighters, all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box or email me.