Sunday, September 14, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

27 Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or, “Why are you speaking with her?” 

Jesus viewed the Samaritan Woman as a gift of God.  This is powerful because this person had so many marks against her in the traditional sense.  Jesus spoke with her even though she was from a class of people who were not considered worthy, even though she was a woman and he was not supposed to talk to her as a Jewish man, and in spite of her own past.  Jesus interacted with her with respect and regardless of race, caste, or past.  Not only did Jesus acknowledge her and simply speak with her, He gave her the Word. He gave her the ability to understand who He was and then provided her with the opportunity to share that news with others.  Jesus Christ spoke with her and in one encounter, changed the course of her life and transformed her life to one of being a powerful voice of the Messiah in her community. 

The passage provides a powerful example of the understanding and acceptance of a woman who by many societal lenses was labeled as less than.  She was given an opportunity to change be someone better than she was.  Jesus gave this woman a purpose in life.  And when Jesus looked beyond the traditional barriers, He set the example for others.  We see this also in this passage that when the disciples can to find Jesus, their natural reaction to her shifted simply because of His willingness to speak and interact with her.  It is an example that even small gestures can have tremendous meaning and significance in the eyes of others who watch. 

Are we enabling those around us, and specifically the women around us, or are we hindering them from the purpose God has set for them?  Do we take the opportunities given to us to break down perceptions and barriers to true equality?  Do we support others who are striving for those things in their own unique ways?  For those that have been given specific talents and purposes in life, are you using those for the Glory of His Kingdom? As Christians, we are all responsible for uplifting each other for the specific callings each are given.  

When we as society are able to break down barriers, we are given an incredibly expansive opportunity set.  We are using all the talents and blessings that God has bestowed upon this world.  We are respecting, utilizing and thereby praising God for each individual he has put on this earth.  And we are understanding that each person, regardless of labels, brings unique traits and talents to glorify God.  The Church has shown in a number of ways that the societal hurdles should be broken down, and that hiding behind the belief that they are status quo is not consistent with the teachings of the Bible.  We as a Christian society must be stronger.  It is not only the responsibility of those that are held back, but to all the others that surround them, to break down the barriers to change in every way possible.  We must all take responsibility.  Every small action that each of us take in our daily lives will together create a shift in our society. And this will reaffirm that the Kingdom of God is open, and the Church has opened its doors for all, without any prejudice and discrimination.

Prayer: Lord, help me to find ways each day to use the gifts given to me for Your Glory and to enable those around me to fulfill the purpose You have set out for them.  Amen.

Thought for the day: "The Kingdom of God is open, and the Church is called to open its doors for all, without any prejudice and discrimination." (September 14, 2014 - Mar Theodosius Sermon Points)