If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. At least that’s the mentality we tend to live by. But the woman at the well in John 4 found something in Jesus she could trust – even when nobody else trusted her. God comes to us not as a con-man, but as one who fully sees us and loves us anyway.
Image “Water of Life” by Stephen Broadbent, at Chester Cathedral. Photo credit: Duncan Hull
I (Pastor Kate) have a very vivid memory of screaming, “I hate you,” at my mom. I think it only happened once, but it was enough to hurt my mom. But it’s also something I’m sure I’ve communicated to God more than once either through my actions or lack thereof – and I’m sure it doesn’t hurt God any less than it hurt my mom. Turns out God loves us in spite of our hate – that’s precisely the point of John 3:16-17.
Temptation comes in the ordinariness of our lives and makes us forget who we are and what we are called to do. It causes us to doubt the truth: that we are God’s beloved children.
Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7
Image license: CC0 Public Domain
In the strange moment of Jesus’ transfiguration on the mountaintop, Peter, James, and John fell to the ground, afraid. But Jesus did not leave them overwhelmed by their fear, in the face of the glory and mystery of God, and he did not leave them overwhelmed by fear when he went down the mountain and faced the growing conflict and darkness in his time. Jesus will not leave us overwhelmed by fear. In the darkness of our times, as we seek to follow along Jesus’ way, let our eyes be open to see the light of Christ, like a lamp shining in a dark place. And may God’s light shine through us to be a lamp shining for others who are afraid.
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)
Salt doesn’t taste very good on its own. It’s only really any good when it’s added to something else. So, when Jesus tells the crowd they are the salt of the earth, he wants them to flavor and preserve the world instead of keeping to themselves.
It’s time for us, the church, to heed Jesus’ words and enhance the flavors of the world.
Isaiah 58: 1-12