Monday, March 21, 2011

The woman at the Well

This is one of my favorite stories, has been for a long time. Not only did Jesus sit and wait for her to come to him, she went back to her village and brought others to meet Him. The first woman "preacher"?? As a baptized Christians we are called to show Christ to others. We don't have to have extensive programs, a huge stage, or fancy lighting. We only have to say: Come, see the man who knows me. Not the man who knows about me, many people can know alot ABOUT someone, but that doesn't me they KNOW you. Jesus KNEW the woman and told her, he answered her need: Fresh, Living, Eternal, water long before she asked, or maybe even really knew herself. Christ waited for her, than let her bring others to Him.
I found the questions and observations below on a Lenten resource page, the link is below and I invite you to check it out and see for yourself

The Woman at the Well
The Third Sunday of Lent - The First Scrutiny - John 4:3-42
Why did the Samaritan woman come to draw
water at noon, the hottest time of the day?

Did she want to avoid the times the other women
in town came to the well?

What are the places in my life where I am
embarrassed, where I avoid interaction with

What are the noon day wells of my life?
Can I imagine Jesus approaching me there?

Jesus tries to reveal his thirst to her - perhaps
his thirst for intimacy with her - but she puts
him off. She's not worthy. It won't work. When
he offers to satisfy her thirst, she puts him
off. He can't satisfy what she needs, at least
with this well, and without a bucket.

From the Online Ministries, CREIGHTON UNIVERSITY
Visit the Online Ministries site: Praying Lent.
In addition to this resource for Lent, there are many
others to support our journey through Lent.
And, there is a Lenten Daily Prayer for each day of

How do I put Jesus off, with excuses, with
problems, with barriers? I don't have time; I
haven't done this before; my stuff's too
complicated; I don't know how to find you in this

When he shows her that he knows her, she knows
she's in the presence of someone special - perhaps
the one she has thirsted for all her life.
Do I let Jesus show me that he knows and
understands me?

Can I find the words to say he is the one I have
thirsted for all my life?

The grace will come when I see that I have been at
the well a long time and have long been
thirsty. When I can name the new thirst, the
Water that now satisfies that thirst, I can
overcome my remaining resistance to trust. When
I see that Jesus reveals himself to me by revealing
me to me, thereby showing me my need for him as
Savior, I will rejoice and tell the whole world, too.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

When Grace Strikes

"Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness. It happens; or it does not happen. Grace happens."
This quote from a sermon by Paul Tillich, the theologian is something I am taking to heart this week. Those of you with pets know of the great pain I speak of. We had to put our dear Wellington to sleep after a valiant battle with cancer. While he may have lost his battle with cancer in the end he truly won because of how he spent his last year. We were able to provide him with a loving home in his last year. A loving home full of dog treats, adventures in the woods, long walks and a nice big queen size bed to sleep on.
I'll repeat the quote. "Grace strikes us when we are in great pain and restlessness." It is now that I realize the grace I need is already within me sent from God above. All I need to do is tap into that grace. It's that simple. While I still have moments of profound sadness, the grace I have been given helps me to realize what a gift Wellington was for our family. And what a gift we were to him.
A sermon given at St. Stephen's a few months ago had to do with the subject of faith. I quite regularly ask for faith in my daily prayers as I'm sure many of us do. And I truly believe that when we ask for faith, God most willingly gives it to us. But how are we to know that we have faith unless we are tested? That was the whole point of the sermon and it's something that has been at the front of my mind whenever I ask God for anything.
A dear friend sent me an e-mail this week with her interpretation of faith. It's remembering that no matter what, God is in control of the situation. He loves us more than at times we can comprehend. Accepting the situation is called faith. Faith that God knows the desires of our heart and wants the very best for us. When you have nothing left, you have to trust God. While at times I may not fully understand why Wellington is no longer with us, God does. It's letting that grace in that allows God to take control and heal my broken heart. It is in my humble opinion that this faith and grace work hand in hand.
I will close with this final quote for you readers to think about: "Faith is like stepping off a cliff and expecting one of two outcomes - you will either land on solid ground or your will be taught to fly."*Barbara J Winter
Matthew C. Thomas-Malani
March 4, 2011
In memory of Wellington Brooks, beloved dog
May 2004 - March 2011