Day 20

Merry Christmas!

Read John 4:4-42.

Devotion by: Kara Kennedy
Woman of Samaria

Jesus,

You broke through every social and political taboo when You held this outcasted, scandalized woman in Your gaze and asked her for help. What I love the most is that You genuinely needed her for that drink. You, the image of the Invisible God, the Ancient of Days, the Bread of Life chose to humble Yourself to be in legitimate need of a woman who knew herself only as a disgrace.

And to this fallen woman who was lost to the ways of the world, You chose to reveal Your radical theology of missions, in which the giver is so humbled that he first needs the receiver, and the receiver is so dignified that she can first help the giver.

To her who was rejected by both the religious elite and her own people, You chose to reveal the true nature of worship. You care nothing for religious rituals or earned righteousness, but call us in Spirit and Truth to “the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable.”

To this woman who knew only cheapened intimacy, You chose to reveal Yourself for the first time in the Gospel narratives as the great I AM. You looked past all that might separate her from You and shared with her real intimacy by telling her Your true nature. You chose to be known intimately by someone who could little know herself.

Having profoundly dignified her, You then empowered her as the first female preacher of the Gospel. Thank You for loving, dignifying, and empowering each of us as You have this woman. Your grace is scandalous, beautiful, breathtaking.

Amen.

“At the beginning of the conversation, Jesus did not make Himself known to her, but first she caught sight of a thirsty man, then a Jew, then a Rabbi, afterwards a prophet, last of all the Messiah. She tried to get the better of the thirsty man, she showed dislike of the Jew, she heckled the Rabbi, she was swept off her feet by the prophet, and she adored the Christ.”

Father Ephrem the Syrian, 4th century theologian

Jessica Spivey