A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock." Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water."
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true." The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship." Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth." The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, "What do you seek?" or "Why are you talking with her?" So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, "Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?"
Based on her story, I have no doubt this woman had been judged, ridiculed, and was an outcast to many. However, on this day she met a man who said, "You know what, I know everything about you. I know that the man you are with is not your husband and that you have had 5 before this one. I know every detail of your life, but I love you. I value you. I want to shower you with my grace and cleanse you of your sins." (Kristine's version)
The title of this blog is "Come Home" or "You're Not Welcome Here"? What message are we, as a church, sending to the outside world? I believe that Jesus sent the message all through Scripture that you can always come home. That nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). That no matter where we've been, no matter what we've done He will always welcome us back. I fear that too often, however, we are sending the message that because of this act, these words, those sins you are not welcome here. That you have exceeded your limit and grace is no longer available for you.
It is my hope and prayer that we stop being a church made up of people who just talk about grace. Let's be a people who extend grace to each and every person we meet and help them understand that they can always come home!