Wells Not Walls
From Rev. Nancy Nourse
Jesus replied, “Anyone who drinks this water will soon become thirsty again. But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.”
“Please, sir,” the woman said, “give me this water! Then I’ll never be thirsty again.”
Imagine it's the hottest season of the year. Most of the people rush about early in the day to complete necessary tasks to avoid mid day heat. It's the only way to survive the blistering temperatures of these ancient times.
For one woman in scripture, though, it wasn't possible. She found herself at the water well around noon each day to avoid the stares of her neighbours. Life had been hard...just plain unfair! Now she was as an outcast, feeling the burden of gossip and finger pointing...more than the heaviness of her water bucket weighed her down.
One day, there was a man at the well. How unusual in the days of the early church! Drawing water from the well was women's work at that time in history. She questioned his intentions, squinted her eyes to get a good look at the stranger, and realized he was not from her community. He was different. He was from somewhere else. An outsider.
She could have put up a wall at that moment. The woman could have ignored him. She could have shut him down. Instead, what followed is the longest recorded conversation Jesus had in all of the Bible.
Conversations are important! They connect us with friend and stranger, co-worker and neighbour. And we live in a society where human interaction is harder to find than it used to be. By engaging with one another we are building more life-giving water wells to draw from, rather than walls that separate us. These opportunities fill our buckets, quench our thirst, and barriers fall away.
Perhaps this is the time when you look up from your everyday tasks and realize you need to connect. Maybe you are thirsting for a safe space where you are accepted - a place with no walls or barriers to being part of community. Is this a time in your life where you wonder if anyone sees you? A time when you want someone to hear your story - with all its joys, challenges, and imperfections? Jesus at the well that day didn't greet the woman by pointing out her faults. He talked to her, accepted her, and saw her as a person of value and worth. She was understood.
Northminster United Church is one of those safe and accepting places where everyone is welcome to come and meet people others from the community. Be part of the many opportunities available for all ages...Sunday worship at 10:30, Friday morning free coffee, a week night bible study, make a difference with an outreach project in the neighbourhood, or come to a free family movie night.
Come as you are. Draw from the well. Know that you are welcome, valued, loved.