Posted in Uncategorized

Celebrating 40 years! The Uniting Church in Australia.

40th Anniversary UCA

I am so excited I actually managed to do this doodle drawing this week. In 2 weeks we are celebrating the 40 year anniversary of the Uniting Church, where the Methodists, Congregational and Some of the Presbyterian Churches came together to create this new Church. I was only new to the Church (by a couple of weeks!) at it’s 10 year anniversary and remember going to the Horden Pavilion with bus loads of people from all over the state to celebrate. Ever since then I have grown in love for this Church God has raised up and I have found my home here.

This is my doodle of the Uniting Church logo(it might be hard to recognise but I promise it is there! ) and what the Basis of Union says who the Uniting Church is in relation to the areas covered in the logo..UCA_WebColourLarge-300x300

The Basis of Union is the foundational document of the Uniting Church and it says what is important to who it is. You can read it here. I love it! (I know super Church nerd, but I am ok with that!)

So what I noticed when I drew it.. or Karen’s translation of bits of the Basis of Union!

It started with God who brought the world into being.. (I had to draw the circle first) It was beautiful and good. Unfortunately it didn’t stay that way, even into the Heavens we have dumped our junk and used things however we want, including people.

So Jesus came along to help us understand how much God loves us and that we are God’s children. We are called to acknowledge Jesus as Lord. His death acted as a sacrifice for all people, his ressurection reminds us that God does not finish the story with our own mess but gives us a chance at new life.. We are a ressurection people! You can’t see Jesus face, only through the Spirit, we do not have that human with us anymore, but the Helper who was sent for us. Jesus uses the Spirit to awaken the people in the Church to be his disciples, who God calls them to be.. (Note the alarm clock and people asleep), and in “His own strange way constitute, rules and renews them as his Church” paragraph 4

The Spirit leads us, moves us, teaches us and stirs within us particularly through the sacraments, of Communion and Baptism. I tried to make the water touch both the adult and the Child as whilst we beleive in one baptism it is for all. It blows through us like a cleansing wind and sets our hearts on fire.

We are given the gifts of the New and Old Testament, to guide, direct and inspire the people of God. Our life in faith is directed and guided by the Biblical witness.

The Church is ever reaching out, both to the world and to the other faithful of God, it is an incomplete circle because we are still Uniting in how we are Church together.

The Church relies on the Saints who have gone before us, those who have studied God’s word and share it with us through their writing and the Creeds. Yet God still calls up God’s people to ponder and see it afresh and anew in the light of the churches current context. We as Christians are called to use our brains!

God has created the Church with great diversity, we have a priesthood of all believers, where everyone from our youngest to our oldest has a place and is gifted with gifts and skills to share with the community and the whole world. In the Uniting Church we have the ordained ministries of Ministers and Deacons, who are called to work alongside the Church offerring their gifts in leadership.

The Church belongs to the people of God, on the way to the promised end. The Uniting Church prays that through the gifts of the Spirit, God will constantly correct that which is erroneous in it’s life, will bring it into deeper unity with other Churches, and will use it’s worship witness and service, to God’s eternal glory through Jesus Christ. Amen!” Paragraph 18

Posted in Lectionary Yr A, Pentecost, Uncategorized

The fire of God, present within us. Pentecost

pentecost

John 20:19-31

I have done a lectionary doodle closer to the reading here  if you want to take a look. This year I decided to reflect on what happened as a consequence of the coming of the Holy Spirit.

I was pondering how the disciples hidden and afraid defeated from Jesus death, not knowing how to move forward, were miraculously transformed from the encounter with the Holy Spirit.  They were no longer ruled by fear and instead were so confident in the faith they would not stop proclaiming the Good News that Jesus delivered to the world that for most of them, it cost them their lives.

I don’t know what the church is like where you are, but a lot around me are seeing the church aging and the lack of young people coming or staying in the church and they are very afraid. What will  the future become? What about this church? What are we to do? This weekend we celebrate Pentecost, one of my favourite seasons, swarming with red and orange and flames. The symbol of the spirit that of fire from the acts reading.  The promise that God chooses to remain with us even today!

We have pretty bad fires here in Australia they are really powerful. They destroy homes, lives and property and move so quickly that you cannot out run them. I discovered recently that Churches are particularly bad in a fire they burn very hot and very quickly because of the big open spaces in them. Last week I talked about the Spirit as companion but this week I want to reflect on the Spirit as fire. You cannot control it, it changes the landscape in a moment. This companion who journeys with us  is not one we can control but holds within the fast paced powerful creativity of God that transforms.

I wonder what would happen in the people hidden in their churches afraid if this weekend they were blessed with the reminder of the Spirit that was within them, one that blows thier thinking in a whole new way, one that gives them the courage to speak where for so long they have been silent. What have we got to lose people? The land is barren and dry the seeds cannot sprout until the heat and the flames pass over it. That breathe that fire is still with us today. The disciples lives were so transformed they were never the same again, no longer hidden in fear, but courageous in action and word. I wonder what would happen if we stopped holding the spirit so tightly as our companion who journeys with us alone and let ourselves be open to the courageous acts of love service and word that maybe we have been too afraid to do. My prayer is that small hidden frightened band would transform my city, which would spread the fire of love across the planet. Wouldn’t that be amazing!

May this week as we sing and celebrate how brilliant it is to have God’s presence with us  may we have the courage to let it go a little and see what God can do even within us!

Blessings people!

Posted in Easter, Lectionary Yr A, Uncategorized

Advocate, helper, friend, comforter. Mary Poppins, Tonto, Dr Who’s companions. Easter 6 John 14:15-21

holy Spirit

John 14:15-21

This weeks reading is about the Holy Spirit, it was interesting that across the translations there were 4 different words used to try and explain what the Gospel writer was trying to say.. Comforter, advocate, friend and helper, I think I have read the word companion as well, each of these words give us a different understanding of the relationship and the purpose of the Holy Spirit.

This got me to thinking about what would be some of the more current equivalent to these roles. The truth is this week I really wanted to draw Mary Poppins, Tonto and the companions of Doctor Who . (I am a whimp, I thought some of you might find it a little disrespectful, not my intention mind you! ). Two characters that are quite well known who were companions and a few more that I am willing to help you out with.

I was pondering what do these characters tell us about the human desire to have partners, helpers in our lives? The first thing that it tells me is that there is still a longing in humanity to have someone come alongside us and stick with us through the thick and thin.

Let’s start with Mary Poppins, oh how I would love someone who could come in and clean up my messes with the blink of an eye! or to have a travel bag light enough to carry but able to fit just about anything in. The truth is she was a companion who was tough but also kind in a time when things felt really out of control. Someone who walked alongside those children reminding they were loved and how wide and rich the wonders of the world are, even amongst the chaos.

I am a mad Johnny Depp fan so I will be talking about his version of Tonto (sorry for you older readers). Early in the movie the Lone Ranger is so busy being right that he doesn’t take time to listen and figure out what is really going on, later Tonto finds the Lone Ranger almost dead and does all he can to bring him back to life, he is his conscience and the vioce of wisdom (or craziness) in his ear that talks through the options. He always has his back in a fight.

In Dr Who the companions are the ones who inspire his adventures and help him see things as though for the first time, they are his conscience and keep him on track when ocassionally he would prefer to walk away or rage to a point of utter distruction.

As I ponder these companions, helpers, friends, compassionate ones I gain a whole new insight into how the Holy Spirit has played a massive role in my life, the compassionate one who sticks with me through the chaos, is kind but tough, who pulls out a bag of tricks that is both surprising and sometimes seems impossible. I feel like the  Spirit always has my back, offers wisdom and insight. The Spirit mocks me as I sit in my own importance of being right and waits till I am willing to hear the whole story , (I think too there are days it feels like the Spirit sends me on wild goose chases!) It is the Spirit who has led me on amazing adventures I would not have embarked on without her leading and she shows me things in a new light as though for the first time. The Spirit is my conscious and holds me to account when I want to walk away or rage to the point of distruction.

This pondering on companions got me thinking about the importance of physical companions and what it is they show us about ourselves and life. We trust them with so much, the Spirit often uses them to be the physical presence of God we need. I pray you may have great ones around you as well!

Blessings beautiful people!

modern holy spirit

Posted in Lectionary Yr A, Uncategorized

In my Father’s House there are many rooms. John 14:1-14, Easter 5

inmy fathers house there are many rooms

John 14:1-14

I don’t know about you but often when I have heard this reading in the past I have thought of God having a massive hotel and all the rooms were exactly the same you checked in and there you had it. This time when I read the reading I wondered what would an ideal room to God look like? I got to thinking  how my idea of a room and everyone elses idea of a room would be different.  Which of course changed the whole design of God’s house, because I don’t think God is limited to only my experience.  The more I played with this idea, the crazier it got, Asian architecture, African, Indian, Pacific islands.

Then I got to thinking why does it matter to us or to the reader about where God has room for us? For me it is about belonging, Jesus and God are making room for us, they are helping us, making their home our home, for the rest of eternity. I was thinking about how different each of our concepts of home would be, from what we eat, to the habits we have. God has space for us and our world in God’s world, I am guessing because I love the diversity of what the human race is, God would love it even more so, not something to be wiped clean so you have a clinical hotel room but a rich and beautiful homely place that we belong.

As if that is not enough Jesus says you don’t even have to worry about how you are going to get there, Jesus will meet us and show us the way so we don’t get lost. The entrance would be easy with ramps and lifts because everyone is welcome. It’s just about trusting Jesus.

It can be really scary going to  a new place, might be fun for a visit but if we pick up everything and move there, there comes a time where you just need your Vegemite! Jesus tells us not to worry, God knows our needs and is with us all the way. This trip is really worth investing in!

As you colour today you might like to draw your idea of home in the gap at the front.  I would love to see it!

Posted in Uncategorized

Eco Theology, Genesis 1:26-31, What a wonderful world!

eco sermon

Genesis 1:26 – 31 NIV

Genesis 1:26-31 Message

This week we have a bonus doodle as a friend of mine is running an eco theology sermon competition and I thought it would be fun to doodle on it..

It  is unusual for me to include two versions of the reading I am looking at but it might surprise you to know, I often do read multiple versions of the reading before I start.. The bible was not written in English and I don’t beleive that one translator has it perfectly correct, but together we gain a better understanding.

I was talking to another friend this week about how we understand caring for our world from a biblical perspective, for me this reading in Genesis is the key. This reading provides both the reason for the trouble we are in and the hope for how things could be different. Let’s start with the trouble, if you look at the NIV version you can see it talks about God creating people to rule over creation and to subdue it. This is exactly what people are doing, they see that the earth and all that is in it, is ours to use and abuse as we please. If we were to simply look at these readings we are justified in just about everything we do to the world..

I suspect that when God talked to the author of these writings in a diffierent language to ours, God may have had something else in mind. I speak from a couple of experiences that have happened to me only this week where I had read something , as had others and we came up with a totally different understandings using exactly the same words. It was different because of the context of which we were coming from.

I am an ever hopeful person, I try very hard to see the best in people and it takes alot to go down before I remember that people can do some pretty horrible things as well as good. I wonder with this reading whether God was thinking the same thing.. “This mob we will make them just like us, we will give them the power to rule over and use this beautiful world just like we do. It will be fantastic.” I wonder whether God like I am, is bitterly disapointed when the hard ugliness of what human reality is, shows itself again as far less than that..

I am grateful for the grace that comes from Jesus entering the world, I feel like it is God’s honest reflection on humanity. Through Jesus entering the world, God says, I know you don’t get what you could really be, but I will continue to believe in that beautiful vision of the world and you in the hope you will become it.

Which brings me to the message, I think it gives a much better understanding of those words.. It begins by reminding us that we are made reflecting the very nature of God. What do you know of the nature of God, how does your humanity reflect this?  For me whilst God is powerful beyond imagination, flinging stars into the heavens, God does not Lord it over us, but works with us, making the most of who we are and what we can be..

The next line is key for me.. So they can be responsible.. Responsible is a very different word to rule over. Responsible reminds us that we are to work to the benefit of both, not merely use the item for our own benefit. This is where I think we have it wrong, we have been so busy using our world, and life, for our own benefit we forgot that we are responsible to benefit both us and all of creation.

The vision God had for the world was a beatiful thing, all the things we are blessed with, to benefit us is amazing!! At the moment I can’t draw them without being saddened by the reality we are living in. Maybe it is time to really work on those little choices we make to make a big difference. Switch off light switches and technology when you don’t need it, remember your bags, recycle, pick up your veges without the packaging, take a cup to get your takeaway coffee. Maybe it is time we all put our voices together, to let the bigger organisations who are letting us get away with this, please help us to be the  best of humanity we can be, set limits, curb greed.

As human beings God knew we had good days and bad days,  and I think we need to be gracious with ourselves and each other, God is, but lets make sure we are not just using that as an excuse to not have a go. To have this vision that God has as a reality is a beautiful thing, but more than that our future depends on it.

Posted in Easter, Lectionary Yr A, Uncategorized

Abundant life, Easter 4, John 10:1-10

good shepherd

John 10:1-10

Sorry I haven’t been online for a while, I had realised that the task had become more of a chore for others, rather than my way of connecting with God and the text in a deeper way.  It seems a break has helped! I hope you had a blessed Easter.

The reading this week is one I have heard a few times before. The story of Jesus the Good shepherd. I have heard from a couple of sources that the Shepherds of the time used to sleep accross the gate, to keep the animals in and to keep the predators out.  The reading highlights that Jesus is the gate to abundant life, there wil be others that will try and sneak in but they are thieves and robbers.

I was thinking about the things that seek to get our attention and rob us of the abundant life that God has visioned for us. Sometimes these things lead us to death, like the sheep who would have been stolen away by theives. Some of those things for me are wanting to achieve impressive things, being more concerned about the impression people get rather than building  solid relationships that are real and honest, being woried about the future and the changes that will happen in my world, whether they be economical and the need to have enough for when we finally retire which stops me from being generous now, or environmental and what will happen to our planet, the drive to keep everyone happy, the desire to provide my kids with the best opportunities. I haven’t even started on the being a good wife, daughter, sister, minister! As I reflect on these things the thing that motivates alot of them is to have an abundant and fulfilling life, yet all of them distract me from being at peace and living. I think this is the irony of this reading those things that rob us in life are the things that give false promises that they provide the key to an abundant life, but it is really Jesus who does.

It is the times when I have asked God what to do in a situation that I have taken time to hear wisdom, when I pray about the situation with my kids I don’t quite so easily get driven by the fears of not being a good parent (some days I still do!), when I start my work remembering it is actually Gods work I don’t feel quite so much the need to prove myself and I can be humble enough to make mistakes and learn, when I remember my call is to love my neighbour I care less about how my lawn looks and more about how I connect with the people around me, when I remember this is God’s world I take time to remember I am called to be a good steward with what I have and I take the time to switch off lights and devices and remember my shopping bags.

Jesus does give us the key to abundant life, God’s vision of life calls us to something much more richer and beautiful for all of life it is a pleasant change from the manic drive which can so easily consume us!

I realise I am a white middle class woman and these are my struggles, the line “first world problems” comes quickly to mind , tragically these first world problems stop me from remembering the plights of my brothers and sisters all around the world, if anything they create mind numbing guilt. I need to be honest about them so I can be part of the world that makes things better for everyone. I would love it if you were willing to share how Jesus moves you from the things that rob you to abundant life in the comments section!

Posted in Easter, Lectionary Yr A, Uncategorized

Provocative comedy? Speaking out against injustice. Palm Sunday. Matthew 21:1-11

Palm sunday

Matthew 21:1-11

This is the second time now I have reflected on Palm Sunday. You would have seen the image on my welcome page.

So what did I notice this time? The story this week tells of how Jesus is coming from the Mount of Olives, the place to which Jesus would return and where things would not go so well for him. The question that arose for me was, does it matter where he came from? He was engaged in the city but did not actually stay in the city but trotted (literally) in and out of it making very public political statements. The first a critique of the Empire and the nature of how they use power and the second was the turning of the tables at the Temple.. The two key residents Jesus was intentionally antagonizing. It isn’t really surprising that they got to a point of wanting to take him out.

The second point that came to my attention was that there was a massive crowd who came in waving palms and laying cloaks but it actually created chaos in the city and people were wondering who this person was. I think when I have heard this story before I just thought everyone was on board, but here the text  is clear Jesus had his own crowd that were excited about his arrival. In this light it makes a bit more sense how the crowd turned to have him crucified. Maybe they were never with him and if all he did was come into the city and criticise and mock, almost goading a reaction from the leaders at the time, I wonder how the every day citizen of the city would feel as they tried to make out an existence in the dynamics that was their lives.

This week I am doing some training on leadership and political advocacy. It has raised for me some questions about how we critique those things that we think are contrary to God’s way and God’s will. Is Jesus model of trot into the city drop a couple of controversial public statements and leave, waiting on the outskirts for them to come and get him. I wonder if Jesus had considered other ways? I wonder if the lengthy discussions with the Pharisees and Sadducees along the way was a way of trying to speak into their world and situation. I wonder if the conversation as to who’s head was on the coin was a gentle attempt to educate? Sometimes people don’t want to listen or hear, even when we talk with them directly no matter the language we use or the examples we explore with them. Sometimes people can justify anything, or it just makes sense to them because that is how it has always been. I wonder if they got it when he went to the extremes? I wonder if Jesus frustration of hearing the suffering of the people had got to a point that it required some light relief. His frustration at the temple and the leadership there left him with no other way left? Maybe, maybe not..

What do I take away from this? The example of Jesus to speak out against the things around him that were causing harm to others, that were separating them from each other and from God. Honestly I struggle often to speak out against most things. The problem I have is that I can see things from both sides, and to the people involved it makes sense. But does it make it ok to harm others or stop others from connecting with God purely because of who their family is, their background, or where they come from? Is this God’s way? Jesus life would suggest otherwise, he even had to fight against his own cultural conditioning to remember this.  Sometimes the consequences of these actions are not good, and the truth be known I too am scared. But slowly I am working on my courage to remain true to myself and what I hear Jesus calling us to as a church and to speak out against injustice. Today we talked about fighting for justice is what love looks like in the Public arena, love cannot remain only contained in caring for the individual without dealing with what is causing thier suffering. So I begin with conversations, kind and gentle chats, going to vigorous discussions, maybe we will even make light about those things that get in between us or try to control us, I wonder if I too will need to turn over tables, I hope we can grow together long before then!!

May wisdom be your guide and the Spirit’s courage your companion.

Posted in Lectionary Yr A, Lent reflections, Uncategorized

If only..looking through Jesus eyes. Lent 5, John 11:1-45

Raising of Lazarus

John 11:1-45

Today we look at the story of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. They lived in Judea, I had never noticed before that for Jesus to go back to visit them was a dangerous act, the people there were trying to stone him. I love the confidence in which Jesus is portrayed at putting the visit off, it will all be for the Glory of God. Of course we get there, and he was too late as he knew and both the sisters say, IF ONLY.. If only you had been here these things wouldnt  have happened, you could have made him well. They knew and believed in the power of Jesus they had seen it in action and they loved him deeply. He loved them deeply too, he cried with them sitting in their grief..Comforting each other in the pain of loss. They hadn’t just lost a brother, but thier protector,thier voice into the community.   If only you had been here all of this wouldn’t have happened.

I was thinking about how often we say those words if only. I have heard them often in grief, if they hadn’t been driving so fast, if only they hadn’t been drinking to much if only they had talked to me, if only we had more time.. This pain would not be here or would not be as bad. Lazarus is a difficult story for me, here we hear of a good friend of Jesus being raised from the dead, why him God? Just because you knew him and liked him? What about those other good and faithful Christians who too are your best friend, who are martyred for you, who die suddenly, or who contract some terrible disease. Why?

For the women it was an impossible thing, he has been dead for 4 days, which is biblical terms for a really long time and he is definitely gone! He will stink! I think often in grief of all types it can be very difficult to see hope. I love that a third of the reading today is about Jesus sitting in the sadness and being sad too, grieving at the loss of his friend as well. If being a Christian is about doing what Jesus did then here is a clear example fo what we can do. Sit in sadness with those who are sad.

As I drew this picture I loved that Jesus is looking over their shoulder and whilst being present with them could also see hope. He saw Lazarus coming out of the tomb, he saw beyond thier present situation, beyond the grief to what was more. I wonder if part of our journey with those who are grieving and struggling is to remind people that there is more to this picture than what you can currently see. I don’t think it is about using trite sayings, but seeing the hope of a future. It will be different, and the journey to get there will not be easy and it will probably really stink at times, but it won’t be like this forever. God is present in ways you currently can’t see or understand. Do you have the courage to believe?

I was thinking how often when things are not real good we can find it really hard to turn around and to open our eyes to what is more. It takes good and faithful friends, people who can see more than we can that help us on that journey.

This week on Lent 5 You might want to think about who are your Jesus eyes, around you? Who are the people who can see God things that you currently can’t? What are they saying to you? What can you hear what are they saying that makes no sense at the moment? Maybe some of them have gone a difficult journey with you but kept a vision before you that helped lead the way. I give great thanks to those who have been my Jesus eyes along the way! Blessed be your journey particularly in broken and dark places.

 

 

Posted in Lectionary Yr A, Lent reflections, Uncategorized

Lift the blindfold, check out what God is doing.. Lent 4, John 9:1-41.

blind man

John 9:1-41

Our story this week is about the blind young man. The story begins by the disciples asking Jesus who had sinned for this young man to be blind? Immediately it must be the parents fault. We look at this conversation often as though this was so primitive they blame what physical ailments their children suffering on the parents sin. Ironically now we know that sometimes it can be due to the genetics that we pass onto our children or because something happened to the mother or the child whilst it was in the womb.. The point I think Jesus is trying to make is that blaming the parents is more like scapegoating and it doesn’t help to play these blame games. It is interesting too that this terrible suffering was in place so that God’s glory could be shown..

I’m not overly keen on suffering like most of us I try to avoid it at all costs, but it is a part of life and my experience of sufferring is that sometimes and more times than I would like to admit, through that sufferring I have become a better human being and often it is in those moments that I see God’s presence and work most clearly.

Our young man was born blind and Jesus healed him by spitting in dirt to make mud then sending him off to the waters to wash.. and of course in true Jesus style he was healed.  You would think this should be the most interesting and exciting part of this story but actually it goes on for ages about what happens after Jesus leaves.. The community is a bit shocked that this man at this time is healed and I think are a bit threaten by this Jesus. He had flipped their thinking on its head.

I wonder how often when something crazy happens in front of us we try to justify or explain it away so that we can fit our lives all back in their boxes. The movement of God for me is often quite powerful at the moment, but when I look back on it can understand how others who look at that scenario say it just looks like coincidences, dumb luck or chance. In my moments of doubt I start to wonder myself, I have to work hard to connect back into that moment to remember the power that was within it.

I have made the blind man’s eyes blank because evidently he was the one who could not see. Yet it is he, who saw who Jesus was and got how important and powerful he was.. His parents and all the leaders around them whilst they had eyes and could see, were blindfolded and not willing to see things as they really were.. It seems their fear of being rejected by the community was more powerful than facing the joyous miraculous moment in front of them.. I get it, none of us want to be alone and to go against the community, it would have  left them outcasts with nowhere else to go.. Blaming the victim when it should have been a great celebration of God.

I wonder how often we can get caught in the same place, our world gets thrown into chaos and there is much to celebrate but we are so afraid of the change we can’t let go. So week 4 of lent, how does this passage challenge me? It makes me think of the times I am blinded to what God is doing because I like things the way things are. or when I miss the times when amazing God things happen to my friends and I can’t see it cause I am caught up in all the other things happening.. So this week I am going to look out for the cool stuff God has done or is doing. I might even lift my blindfold a little!!

Posted in Lectionary Yr A, Lent reflections, Uncategorized

The water that really quenches, Lent 3, John 4:5-42

 

woman at the well

John 4:5-42

Here we are week 3 of Lent and there is water again.. The well the place everyone needed to keep them all alive and functioning well. Why did Jesus stay outside with the well and send the disciples in to get what they needed? Why did he sit by the well in the middle of the hot day waiting for someone to turn up, knowing most people would be heading to the well in the cooler part of the day?

So here he is, hot, relaxing and a woman comes out to get some water. I have her fully covered because I was thinking about her choice to be there during the day, not wanting people to know who she was or engage with the rest of her world. It is easy to hide behind the masks we have. But Jesus sees right past her. He doesn’t go straight in for the interrogation, instead asks her to help him.. I wonder how often we meet vulnerable people by acknowledging our own vulnerability? Do we offer what we can or do we go straight into the interogation . It is actually her curiousity about why he would break the cultural rules and norms that sparked an honest conversation. Jesus tells her what he sees. She stands courageously and owns the reality of who she is.. He does not condemn her but shows her that things could be different. You don’t need to hide out any more you can be free from this, I have the living water, that which with soothe your brokeness and refresh that part of you that is dried up.. I look at the words we have on the page and it makes no sense to me, something else must have happened, or been said, because her life was so transformed by the encouner she went back to the people she was hiding from and told all of them about Jesus. So much so that he stayed with them for another 2 days. It was the outcast’s story that brought it home to everyone.. This God knows you as you really are, loves you and is present with you everywhere!

I wonder how much of those people secretly felt the same as her, sufferring the imposter syndrome and waiting to be found out. When Jesus shows her at her most raw he respects her and does not harm, instead loves. How beautiful a gift it is when someone sees us at our most naked and does not use that against us but respects us and does not harm, instead loves. It changed her life. It changes my life, and I hope that I in some small ways may be able to show that love too.

So what to reflect on this week in Lent? As I was drawing the walls of the well I was thinking about the walls we build to protect that valuable water in our lives. What are we trying to keep out and why? Is it for thier own safety or do we only want those with the special bucket to access it? So then is the question when does Jesus come to meet us and ask us for a drink? Who are the people that are hot and tired, sitting near us, feeling broken or at least dried out, that look longingly at our well with it’s beautiful Godly water? I wondering if we dip in with our bucket to share a drink with them if we would discover Jesus seeing us for who we are, not judging us but loving us in our brokeness..

Journey well, my friends. K