Monday, March 21, 2011

I went to the doctor, I went to the mountains ...

Many Samaritans from that city believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them; and he stayed there two days. And many more believed because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Savior of the world.” – John 4:39-42

In the Episcopal Church, we talk a lot about community: the importance of belonging to a group of Christians, instead of treating our relationship with God as a mere solo venture. This is very important, of course. But sometimes it’s easy to get subsumed in a faith community we love, and neglect our personal experience of and relationship with God.

The woman at the well had a personal experience of God. And then she couldn’t keep it to herself. She was so forthright in her proclamations of Good News that others wanted to have the same experience. Many Christians fall into this category: we want to believe, but we are holding out for “the real deal.”

The Indigo Girls song “Closer to Fine” is about seeking to know and understand God personally, not just relying on another person’s testimony. “There’s more than one answer to these questions, pointing me in a crooked line …” Have you had a personal experience of God at work in your life? What was it? How did it change things for you?

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