Monday, July 9, 2012


In John 4 we find a story that shows us what happens when God interacts with someone who is a marginal outcast. The Samaritan woman at the well has been rejected by five husbands and is now "living in sin," as some say it.

She is a loser by all counts. She is a low class member of a despised minority.

What happens when God meets someone like that? 

He doesn't begin by judging or imposing his agenda. He starts off by patiently hearing her story on her terms, then he asks her for something practical that he needs. This is to say, there is social give and take.

Only then, when the woman is ready, does he dig into her life and reveal to her that he already knows all about her complicated and troubled life. Still no judgment. Only implied forgiveness and acceptance. 

Then comes his agenda.

And what is it? 

He gives her the work and honor of being the first non-Jewish, non-male Apostle to the non-Jewish world.

What he doesn't do is take her through a moralistic type repentance. He doesn't tick off the commandments she has broken. He moves from healing her story, knowing the rest of her story straight to honoring her and giving her honorable work to do.

If we think that God is in any way a moralizing accountant who is in the very least disappointed with us, we have it precisely and exactly wrong.

No matter how your history has gone so far, no matter how many bad choices you have made or sins committed, your life will be honored.

When you meet the true God, 
you receive forgiveness, love, and honor. 
When you meet forgiveness, love, and honor, 
anywhere, any time, 
you meet God.