October 15, 2018

PUCC Maundy Thursday Devotion – Thursday, March 29, 2018


[This and every Maundy Thursday is about a mandate/command TO LOVE! Jesus is an incredible example of love in action as he washes the disciples feet and gives himself to all of them. Was this a choice he made and/or was he compelled to love? What about you?!]
Jesus left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar . . . Jacob’s well was there. – John 4:1-6

Had To
 by Mary Luti

Of course he didn’t have to go through Samaria. Most Jews wouldn’t have-it was enemy territory. There were routes back to Galilee that avoided Samaria. Jesus could’ve chosen one of them. But no, the gospel says, he “had to” go through.

The Jesus we meet in John’s gospel is a driven man, driven by the Spirit and the Spirit alone, coming and going solely according to God’s purpose and pleasure. If scripture says he had to go through Samaria, then it was inescapable, a summons. He could do no other.

Turning the page, we discover why. Someone was waiting for him there, a woman at a well. She was waiting for him without knowing he was coming, without knowing who he was, but waiting all the same-to speak and be known, to drink new water from a different well, to set down her jar, to be released for running, for telling, for showing the way.

He had to go. To her.

If we’re not spiritually compelled like that, agile and swift when the Spirit moves, maybe it’s because we consider too much what could happen to us, what it might cost, if we go through Samaria, and don’t consider enough what it will cost that someone who’s surely waiting for us there if we don’t. The conversation that will never happen because we didn’t sit down, tired and thirsty, at their well. The things they’ll never know about themselves, their truth, their beauty, their worth. The un-bestowed mercy, the freedom denied, the withheld joy.

Prayer: Compel me, Holy One. Make me have to go. Someone in Samaria is waiting for me. Amen.