Five weeks ago I flew to Illinois, had dinner with my good friend Abe and flew home. It would have been an extravagant use of my money if it wasn’t for the free flight voucher that I used, a voucher that would have otherwise expired. I could have flown many places but it was so right to go see my friend Abe.
Abe knows me well. We have been friends for 25 years. He knows me, my good characteristics and my faults. Yet I am so welcome in his home!! It is good to be liked by someone. Even better when that someone knows you well and loves you through thick and thin.
At the Well worship service (the Sunday evening worship at Hope) we often reflect on Jesus and the woman at the well—thus the name of the service. There are many different angles to the story, including one similar to my friendship with Abe. In John chapter 4, about midway through the chapter, and midway through the story of the woman at the well, Jesus reveals that he knows much about the woman he is speaking with. He knows her. He knows her story, her weaknesses, her needs, her sins. This becomes clear to the woman and to the reader. He knows her. This is made clear. And, it is also made clear that, even so, Jesus loves her and welcomes her to know him. She has been offered living water. She has been offered the knowledge that the messiah stands near her.
To be known and, yet, welcomed.
Abe knows me. A good Christian friend and he welcomes me into friendship constantly. What a blessing.
“But God proves His love to us that in while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
God knows us. And, even so, God, in Jesus Christ, welcomes us into His Kingdom. What a blessing.
May the peace of God which passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds on our Lord Jesus Christ.
Bruce Hillyer, Associate Pastor for Caring Community and Kingdom Partnerships