For two weeks in a row John has shown us episodes of individuals meetings Jesus. The comparison is notable.
Last week, in John 3, we read about Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a Pharisee and member of the Jewish Sanhedrin - a powerful man who is named in the story. He comes to Jesus in Jerusalem by night.
Contrast him with the Samaritan woman at the well, who we'll hear about this Sunday (John 4:5-42). In many ways, she was Nicodemus' opposite, as was the scene.
She is an unnamed woman from a different religion living in an enemy territory (Samaria). There is something about her that puts her at odds with her community because she chooses the heat of the day to get water from the well. She's alone when Jesus comes to her for a drink of water.
It's notable that his conversation with her is the longest dialogue Jesus has with an individual in all of the gospels. That he gives so much time to engaging this woman at the well in real theological discussion demonstrates Jesus' respect for her. She was intelligent enough to engage on a high level and mattered enough for him to invest that much time in her.
Whatever it was about her that put her on the periphery of her community did not prevent Jesus from meeting and engaging with her. I wonder how many women at the well we pass by or dismiss each day. I wonder how many people might get to know Jesus better if we didn't.
We're glad to be joined in our worship services this Sunday by members of our scouting ministries. I hope you'll be with us as well.
Maybe you'll meet Jesus while you're here. Or, maybe, you'll help others come to know him better. Or, maybe, you'll simply show Jesus your love by being here. Whichever it ends up being - or all 3 - God is worth the effort and time.