For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:17 NLT
Whenever change happens, it can have a very profound effect on how we live after the change. What we in some ways have taken for granted is never going to be the same. In this moment we all need to look at things in a new way. So much of what we did was naive and self centered. I know that I would often think what is in it for me, a kind of consumer mentality. That is one of the struggles we have today and that is changing. You may have struggled with the fact that you have failed or you are too easy to get angry. You are having a bad day. You are feeling extremely anxious, and you have a need to distance yourself from people. Do we need to do more? Is what we are doing enough? All these things preoccupy outside time. Could I do more? This scripture is suggesting that God wants to deliver us from ourselves so in the same gospel of John within a few short chapters is the story of the woman at the well. Let me say a few things about her. She had real shame on her. As a result she avoided others. Yet in sharp contrast Jesus had a need to go through Samaria. This begs the question, Why? I suggest a response for the sake of this woman. What needed to happen very clearly was that she needed to be set free from the shame that she bore. Her story is the story of an abused woman. She is also a woman who has been ostracized by her community. She was also in a culture of shame. Yet the wonderful part about this story is that after her encounter with Jesus, she was so liberated by what He said that she, free from shame, brought a whole city out that was completely given over to the mindset of her shame. When grace and truth are present, people come out of their shadows. The kindness that is shown by others towards us is a very powerful catalyst for a new culture of acceptance. When law is demanded, people are divided. When the essence of grace is present, community is established. Demand mentality manifests itself in the I must.
I must be a better person. I must be nice.
I must meet this deadline.
All of it has a withering effect on us. This woman transitioned to be able to see in Jesus enough grace and love that it completely broke down her consciousness of lack. In this time that we are in, if we will dare to trust God will meet in a gracious way at the point of our need for his supply. At one point the woman at the well did not know who she was talking to. Jesus said to her, “If you knew who it was that you were talking to, you would ask of Him.” This is my point: did grace and truth really come from Jesus. Then in our relationship with him it should be hugely transformative. In that transformation love flows a culture of grace exists and those who are marginalized are brought in. If that mindset was ever needed, it is needed now. It is necessary for us as Christians to refocus our lives to the values that changed the culture then and can change the culture now. I pray that God will give you creative ways to reach out and touch hearts and lives by the reality of His grace and love the way Jesus presented it.