Exposure is the topic for this week. I’m not writing about being exposed to Covid-19 and precautions. I am writing about how it has exposed our humanity and fear. Covid-19 has reminded us once again of our mortality and our lack of invincibility. High school sports are cancelled. College sports are cancelled. Professional sports are cancelled. Church services are cancelled. Store shelves are empty. Scammers are selling their secret cure. Sales of Corona beer are down as people fear getting the virus from drinking it. Covid-19 has more than exposed us to a virus. It has also exposed our humanity and fear.
Today’s reading has Jesus talking to a Samaritan woman at the community well and much was exposed about humanity in that day. Namely, biases and fear and insecurity. A God fearing Jew would avoid Samaritan land or find the fastest way through it. They would not have held a conversation with a Samaritan nor drank water from the same cup. A man would not have had a conversation with a woman in public. What Jesus was doing would have raised the anxiety levels of the righteous in those days. What he was doing also exposed our bias and fear.
There is more. Jesus asked her to get her husband but she had no husband. Then Jesus exposed her as having had five husbands. She wasn’t unlucky in love. Jesus exposed the insecurity of a woman in a society where wives were easily divorced (discarded) but needed men for protection.
While much was exposed, Jesus offered water but not water that came from the community well. He offered water that bubbled up like a fountain rising up to eternal life. He was the source of that water. Eternal life is a quality and way of life lived out under Christ as Lord in the reign of God. Jesus brought eternal life to a woman society had built walls around and raised up her dignity in a cast aside culture. She went off to town to tell others and the Samaritan town believed and welcomed Jesus to stay. They saw in him the Savior of the world.
The disciples showed up and were aghast that Jesus was talking to a Samaritan woman. Jesus had come to do the work of bringing eternal life to this world and many others were needed both Jew and Samaritan to be a part of this work. The eternal life that Jesus brings is a life where biases and fears of others are removed and those cast aside are raised up to dignity as children of God. For this to happen, a lot of workers are needed. The disciples needed to understand this.
Covid-19 is a reality that has brought much of the world to a stop. It needs to be taken seriously. The prayer is for all infected to quickly recover and know again the goodness of health. At the same time, our humanity has been exposed with all its fears and insecurities. This needs healing as well. The invitation is to join in as one of the workers bringing the water that bubbles over to eternal life. Jesus is that water.