Summary: Equality, Worth, Love, Missions
THE WELL – A Place for All People
John 4:9 (p. 741) February 15, 2015
My brother and I were down in Fort Lauderdale for a vacation several years ago. He has a time share and we were just enjoying some time together and eating our way down the treasure coast...we both love seafood so we’d been asking people....“where’s the best seafood restaurant?” And, the answer kept coming back, “The 15th Street Fishery,” so I called them up and made reservations for the evening. I also asked, “what’s the dress code...and the guy said, “casual.” Now casual to Sam and I means “shorts and a T-shirt.” I still remember, “He had on his KY verses FL T-shirt with a gator fighting a wildcat, jean shorts and tennis shoes. I had on a Harley T-shirt (I know, shocking huh?), jeans and boots...and a hat.
As we walked in, greeted by a maitre d’ in a tux, after we had given our keys to valet parking...we encountered super dressed up patrons, preppiness oozed from every person in this very upper class restaurant, I asked our waiter, “I thought dress was casual...He said, “It is...then he brought us a menu...with 7 course meals and “no prices.”
Now Sammy and I aren’t afraid to pay for a great meal...especially when I say Sammy and I and I mean “Sammy!” But for the two of us, including tip, it was $150. Our favorite part of this very interesting meal was the 4th course...a little glass was brought out filled with what looked like “Ice Cream.” We laughed and asked what it was...we knew we were only mid-meal and it wasn’t dessert...and the waiter said, “It’s sorbet...to cleanse your pallet!” Sammy and I still laugh about that line.
My point...don’t say you’re open to welcome everyone, even two KY boys in jorts and jeans if you’re not! We felt more awkward than a member of PETA in a KFC.
Church can be that way for lost, hurting and damaged people if we’re not careful. Just because we say “Everyone is welcome” and we sing, “Just As I Am” doesn’t mean it’s a reality. And I’m not talking about dress codes or types of worship services. I’m talking about an attitude of members that either celebrates “new people, or silently looks at “new people” with cautious judgments.
You see it’s scary to come to the well when you’ve lived a life outside of God...It’s embarrassing to come to the well at the same time all the respectable do...even though you might thirst for something better.
Jesus knew “The Well” is a place for all people, Jew and Samaritan, men and women, Messiah and messy.
We have to ask ourselves...
I. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THE CHURCH REFUSES TO ASSOCIATE WITH THE WORLD?
In this encounter at the well the Samaritan woman assumed that what was true for most Jewish male Rabbi’s...must be true for this Jewish man sitting in front of her at Jacob’s well...“Jews do not associate with Samaritans”...literally you can translate this statement to say, “Jews don’t use dishes that Samaritan’s have used.”