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Today I am leading a Quiet Day for a number of Mothers’ Union members across North Devon. The text is the story of Jesus meeting a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s Well. You will find it in John 4.4-42. Today’s Gospel comes from a later Chapter.
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling-places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going.’5Thomas said to him, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
A text very often used at funerals, a comforting text of reassurance – an insistence not to worry because there will always be a place for you.
The story about the Samaritan woman is quite remarkable. A man on his won would never talk to an unaccompanied woman and Jews just didn’t associate with Samaritans. A double reason for him just to pass by. But they enter into conversation, and as a result the woman becomes an evangelist to her own people, even before Jesus’ own disciples can spread the good news! The woman’s testimony brought her townsfolk back to the well, but it was the love that Jesus displayed which convinced them he was the saviour of the world.
You’ll be hearing a bit more about the love that Jesus had this Sunday, whether you are attending one of our churches, or if you listen on line.
And so we pray the Collect:
faithful shepherd of your Father’s sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and to follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered into one flock,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen