We're so happy you've joined us today!
When we were able to meet in person, we shared our joys and concerns together. Take a few minutes to consider the past week, and what joys or concerns you have. These could be for yourself, a loved one, our community, our country or our world. Feel free to share any of these in the comments if you would like us all to pray for this as well. When you are ready, use the prayer below (from this website):
When evil darkens our world, give us light. When despair numbs our souls, give us hope. When we stumble and fall, lift us up. When doubts assail us, give us faith. When nothing seems sure, give us trust. When ideals fade, give us vision. When we lose our way, be our guide! That we may find serenity in Your presence, and purpose in doing Your will.
[Pray for your joys and concerns, and any that have been shared]
So fill my heart with faith in your love, that with calm expectancy I may make room for your power to possess me, and gracefully accept your healing; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Today's lesson is on John 4:25-42.
The Bible’s sense of calling shows God’s entrusting people with missions vital to His plan. Our callings by the Lord are conditioned by our faithful response. Calls were for people to join God’s plan — NOT for God to join theirs. To testify means to give evidence as a witness or to serve as evidence. Similar words are: attest, swear to, state on oath, declare, affirm, allege, claim.
Jesus revealed his call by reading a passage from Isaiah 61. He embodied three things from this text: that God’s spirit was upon Him, that he was anointed by God and that He had been appointed to preach the good news. (also see Luke 4:18)
We know that Samaritans and Jews had an intense dislike for each other. Samaritans were Jewish, but they did not have the complete scripture. Their faith was based on the 5 books of Moses, they believed a prophet would come and explain things to them. Jerusalem Jews, believed that the coming of the messiah would be a revolt against Rome. They did not consider Samaritans to be Jewish or Gentile.
Although we do not know the name of this woman, she was impressed by Jesus’ supernatural knowledge of the details of her life. Only a prophet could know those things. She ran to the town asking, “Could this be the Messiah. Meanwhile the disciples return. They are surprised to find him talking to a woman and a Samaritan. They wonder why and what they talked about but were not bold enough to ask.
When the town’s people show up, Jesus answers all their questions and stays with them for 2 days. Many of us can identify with this woman. She was forlorn, rejected , ostracized by her community. She was at the well at a time when she knew others wouldn’t be there. Her encounter with Jesus transformed her. She wanted to tell everyone. This nameless woman teaches us to speak out to bring others to faith. How do we do that? Teach our children to pray, read scripture to them. Live exemplarily lives of faith. We don’t know this woman’s name - but God does. He knows our names and he sees what we do to further His kingdom.
Father, give us the boldness of the Samaritan woman in sharing the food news about Jesus! It is in his name we pray, AMEN
Today's benediction is from the Holman Christian Standard Bible.
Next week's lesson will be on Luke 8:1-3; Mark 15:40; and John 20:10-18.
We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.