Watch and Wonder
The Woman at the Well
John 4: 5-42
In this story, Jesus sees this woman, this foreign woman, this woman he has NO BUSINESS being with (“Jews and Samaritans do not share things in common!”)–he sees her and reflects back to her the story of her life. In turn, in being seen, she begins to see Jesus for who he is– she sees the story of God unfolding before her. “Could this really be the Messiah?”
Suddenly her story and God’s story are bound together. She runs off to her people to tell them–I have met a man who told me my story, a man who might just be the savior of the world.
In being known by God, and in witnessing God’s work in Jesus Christ, this woman is compelled to tell God’s story. She becomes God’s story-bearer to the Samaritans. Hearing God’s story come from the Samaritan woman at the well gives it special meaning and purpose–in her telling it, we glimpse more fully what God intends for God’s kingdom.
If I have learned one thing in my time storytelling, it is this: the stories of God belong to ALL people, and should be told by ALL people. So when I was asked to put together an ensemble of first time storytellers for the NEXT Church national gathering of the PC(USA), I was thrilled. The more we can hear these stories told and interpreted by others, especially folks who do not share the same life experience, the more fully we are able to see God’s story.
Tell a Story
As part of your reflecting on this text, tell a story you felt seen/known.
- For what do you thirst?
- What does “living water” look like for you? What feeds and sustains you?
- Who in your life is able to tell your story?
- If you could tell God’s story in two sentences, what would they be?
Image courtesy of The Presbyterian Outlook from the NEXT Church National Gathering (2017)