As I ponder this story of Jesus talking with the Samaritan woman at the well, there are so many things that made it an unusual occurrence. Firstly, for a Jewish man to talk to a woman, much less a Samaritan woman was rare. Her reputation couldn’t have been pristine if she had five previous husbands and was not married to the man she was currently living with at the time. When His disciples returned and found Him, they, too, were surprised. The one thing that Jesus was positive about, was her receptivity; therefore, her recognition of the Christ as He told her about herself. In her humility , she expressed gratitude for this conversation.
1 Samuel 16:7 states “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the lord looks at the heart.'” Jesus was certainly looking at the Samaritan woman’s heart that day and it remains that way. Today, I will actively work about keeping my heart free from worry, anxiety, jealousy, envy, bitterness and pray that it be filled with grace, love and kindness. That is what God will see.
My study today first took me in the direction of the shepherds watching over their flock the night of the birth of the Christ. When I think of shepherds, Moses or David come to Mind or either “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want”. There is a reverence in my thought as I ponder this. Actually, in biblical times, a shepherd was generally rough, unclean and dishonest as referenced in a Bible commentary. Jesus brought the Truth to all; all-inclusive!
Then I began to think of God’s all inclusive, unchanging Love to each of us and was reminded the only thing that changes is my feelings of worthiness from time to time. His Love never changes. Psalm 13:5 states “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”
This morning as I was making the bed, a dream I had just had came to thought. Then, I tried to remember it and it was very difficult. At the same time, I recalled trying to remember a past hurt and it was the very same thing! How absurd it is to spend time trying to put together a dream or something from the past. Same difference. Absurdity.
My next pondering was the celebration of the birth of the Christ while I would be celebrating my rebirth! Colossians 3:15 states “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”
Today I choose to cherish Life rather than a dream.
While thinking about the birth of Christ, I thought of the wise men searching. They were certainly following with their heart and not their head, because they were following a star. Continuing with their heart, upon finding the babe, they knelt down in humility to praise and adore Him. None of this was done intellectually!
Yesterday as I was praying to see Love expressed everywhere, I turned in my chair while at my desk and glanced out over the golf course. An older couple were playing and a car drove up on the other side of them and a young woman got out and ran over to greet them holding a wrapped present. After embracing, she left and waved at them as she returned to her car. Now, I had just prayed to see God/Love expressed everywhere and there it was. Love could actually be felt by watching this scene.
Luke 1:78 -79 reads “A light from on high will dawn upon us…To shine upon and give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to direct and guide out feet…into the way of peace.”
As I am pondering this morning the birth of Jesus, I am reminded He represents the Truth and appears to us in a childlike form, unlike the allegory of Adam and Eve who appear as adults. Then, I begin to think about the qualities of God’s child which are loving, forgiving, resilient, expecting Good, humility and on and on and on. Luke 2:40 reads “And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him.” There is definitely a difference in “childlikeness” and “childishness” and that verse certainly points that out.
Today I will be conscious and alert to my thoughts and celebrate this birth reverently rather than get caught up in gift-giving, decorating and partying. There is nothing wrong with any of this but we need to stay cognizant of the real celebration here.
This morning as I study Matthew 9:18 which reads “there came a certain ruler, and worshipped Him, saying, ‘My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.'”, there seemed to be no doubt in the ruler’s mind that this was not the end for his daughter. Nor did I sense this was a last resort for him, but was clearly positive the Christ could heal his daughter. The human scene would have been scary, as well, but his faith in Christ was stronger than the material evidences before him. So often, we are asked to put aside what we are seeing and rely upon the Truth that there can be no imperfection in perfection. God’s universe IS perfect and our every needs are filled in this moment. Today I will live more in the moment, watching thoughts of yesterday and tomorrow, giving them no power.
This morning as I was studying the Bible, the thought came to me about the popularity of all the self help books in production today. As I pondered this, I realized the Christ was not in any of them I had read and they seemed to promote “self-reliance” which I find offensive. The more I recognize my dependence on God, the more I depend upon Him. The more I turn to Him with any and all challenges without human will and human outlining, the more Good I experience in my life.
John 15:5 states “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” Today I will be grateful for all lessons, which become blessings as I understand more.