Sunday, February 28, 2010

“Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the...

…people, ‘Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?" John 4:28-29

Our ladies group is studying “Bad Girls of the Bible” by Liz Curtis Higgs. How’s that for a catchy title? The book has been around for a while, but I had never heard of it, so it definitely intrigued me. This week, we studied the story of the Samaritan woman at the well and her transformational encounter with Jesus.

As our group discussed the story and all the layers we uncovered, a few things really started to resonate. We talked about this woman’s history, speculated about how she had gotten to the place of shame and guilt that may have been the motivation for the timing of her trip to the well. We talked about the likelihood that maybe she was trying to avoid the other women for fear of ridicule.

And yet, here she was, all alone engaged in a lengthy conversation with The Messiah! Unbelievable. Well, unbelievable until you unpack it and let it sink in some more. Jesus knew everything this woman had ever done in her life. He knew all the poor and unwise choices she had made and how she had come to have had five husbands and was living with a sixth man (knowledge we aren’t privy to). He knew all this and still offered her redemption and forgiveness and a new life in Him.

The woman, made new in Christ Jesus, went off and told everyone she could about this man at the well. This is the same woman who just minutes before didn’t even want to be at the well at the same time as the other women of the town. Here she was singing from the rooftops, so to speak.

One of the things that was mentioned in the discussion was that the woman left her clay jar behind when she hurried into town to tell others of her encounter. There’s a picture for you. We were challenged to think about our “clay pots” and what we’ve either left, or need to leave behind in our walk. That has been stirring around in my head for a few days now and I’ve got to say, it’s been a challenge. A challenge because there are lots of pots that I think I’ve continued to carry, even though I’ve been long forgiven of the contents.

For years, I know the choices I made were not wise, and even though I knew right from wrong, I still chose the route of sin more times than I’d care to admit. That started to fill up the pots of shame and guilt. Those stinkers were pretty heavy. And there are pots of judgment, non-forgiveness, anger, etc. Boy that list was longer than I want to go into! But then, I asked Jesus into my heart and He washed me clean of all of that and so much more.

The beauty of redemption is that those pots, and their contents, have been shattered by the forgiveness that has been extended. I no longer have to be weighed down by them. In fact, I am doing my Savior a huge disservice if I continue to carry them. My faith in Him is the only thing that I need to carry with me every day. Oh, sweet freedom in Him. There is nothing better.

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