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 4:1-26
This passage has so much meaning to us as Christians. It shows Jesus, clearly human and clearly divine. His humanism is reflected in His physical weariness and thirst for water, causing Him to stop for rest and water. His divinity is clear in his unusual awareness about the women’s history and in His own revelation of being sent by the Father.
Here He is journeying from Judea to Galilee and going through Samaria, which most Jews of the time avoided as it was unsafe and Jews looked down on Samaritans. Jesus does not avoid Samaria. He is not susceptible to bigotry or fear. He pauses to rest by a well and meets a Samaritan woman. She is surprised when He talks to her as she has several characteristics which make most Jewish men view her as unworthy of conversation: she’s a Samaritan, she’s a woman, and she is living in sin according to the mores of the day. In other words, this person was an outcast of society. Jesus shows acceptance of her and reveals Himself to her as the Son of Man.
He initially asks her for water and then begins to tell her of the living water He could provide her. Jesus senses in her a deeper need than physical thirst and differentiates the physical water of the well from the living water of the spirit. She initially misunderstands His metaphor for the Holy Spirit, but when He reveals to her that she has had five husbands and that the man she currently lives with is not her husband, she surmises that Jesus is a prophet.
One never knows if she completely gets the essence of Jesus’ message to her. We don’t even know her name. Immediately, we wonder why Jesus so often chooses the downtrodden, the needy, or the afflicted to reveal Himself to. And it becomes so much clearer to us that He models for us the path of love which leads to total commitment to God and to our fellow man.
He stated that the two greatest commandments were to love the Lord out God with all out heart ad to love our neighbor as ourselves. How frustrating it is for us to constantly fall so short of these two commandments! Yet our accounts of Jesus’ life show Him to remain steadfast in His love of God and love for His neighbor. We know also that we are forgiven our inadequacies as Jesus obviously forgives this woman.
Our knowledge that we are still loved in spite of our inadequacies can inspire us to maintain our focus and efforts to stay on the path of love, however difficult that path is.
Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia Prayer Chain: Saturday, February 23
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: Thelma Roberts Carter, Elizabeth Holback Ellerbe, Katina Beleos Bellios, Mary L. Moffatt, Elizabeth Marie Johnson Rawls, Bertha F. Sumbry, Robert W. Trammell, Linda “Sue” Turner, Jane Scruggs Russo
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.