QUESTIONS FOR JESUS
If you could ask Jesus any question, what would you ask?
Our Gospel readings in this Lenten season are from the Gospel of John. This is yet another conversation with Jesus.
This time instead of a respected male Pharisee talking to Jesus, he is talking with a Samaritan woman, who is likely an outcast.
Her first question to Jesus is why ask for water from me?
Jesus was likely tired from his journey and thirsty in the heat of the noon day sun. So, his reason was he was likely thirsty and had nothing with which to draw water.
But there was a deeper question here. Why does he ask her? In those days Jews were not to drink from the cup of a Samaritan or even talk to them. In fact, most Jews would have intentionally avoided this Samaritan area altogether when traveling from Judea to Galilee.
Have you ever asked Jesus this question? Why me Lord?
Sometimes we ask that question in a negative way. Why me Lord? Why pick on me?
I had a member of my church in Overland Park who was 90 years old ask that question in such a way. Why me? Why am I in the hospital? Now she had never been in the hospital except to give birth all those 90 years and my thought was yes, why you? Why has God blessed you with good health for 90 years, when others suffer?
The Samaritan woman asked the question in a more wondrous way. Why pick me out recognition and service? Why did he do it? This woman came at noon to draw water, in the heat of the day, alone. This unusual act meant that she likely had few female friends. She also had five husbands and was living with another man who was not her husband. Yet, another reason, she was likely an outcast in her own community. Still, Jesus picks her out for service and offers her “living water” to refresh her so whether she has friends or none, she will never thirst again.
We might ask that question. Why me Lord, why pick me out? The clear message here is that the love of God extends unconditionally to all, regardless of background, circumstances, or failures.
So why me? Because of the Grace of God.
Her second question is where should I worship?
That was an issue between the Samaritans and Jews ever since the united kingdom of David and Solomon split apart. Judea worshipped in Jerusalem in the temple. The Samaritans worshipped on Mount Gerizim, where the people of Israel first worshipped after entering the promised land.
Jesus’ answers the place is not the issue. The issue is listening to the spirit and truth. We can respond to the love of God, wherever we are. In simple gratitude, we respond to the invitation to service. The woman saw that she wanted to respond to the Grace of God clearly. She not only gave Jesus water to drink, she goes on to encourage her entire community to come and hear Jesus.
What service can we do? Jesus says in Matthew 10:42: “Even a cup of cold water . . . will be rewarded.” We see throughout creation that God loves variety. We are different members of one body. There is no one answer to the question. What is important is that we ask: How we can be of service?
When the disciples return to Jesus at the well, they are surprised he has been talking to this Samaritan woman. They are also surprised that he is not hungry. Jesus answers: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me.”
I do not have an answer to how we can be of service at any given moment, but I do know from experience that in serving there is deep and lasting satisfaction.
Lent is a time to hear that answer to the question: Why me? Because of the free gift of God’s Grace. What then should we be about? Even a cup of water can help.
My mother, at the end, was not able to accomplish a faction of the mighty deeds of kindness she offered through the years, still her conversations with her children, her words of appreciation to staff were appreciated and were food her soul. Grace and Peace, Pastor John
Lord, we thank you for choosing us to be of service to others. Using our skills, knowledge and resources may we have a positive impact in your world. May our efforts bring joy, comfort and peace to those in need.
Daylight Savings Time – This Sunday – Spring Forward
Challenge for Ukraine and Turkey
Connie and I have decided to match whatever the members of the congregation give during the Lenten season to Lutheran World Relief which is an A++ charity working in Turkey and Ukraine. Just indicate your gift on your envelope or on the special envelopes in the pew.
Thank you also for your wonderful, continued support of the work of Faith. We have had special costs for property improvement recently, especially with plumbing. Your support is much needed.
Next Sunday, March 12 – Thanks for the Chance to be of Service – Pastor John
Confirmation Continues this week at 11:15 – Noon.
Every Wednesday in March 8, 15, 22 and 29 @ 5pm- Soup Supper w. Bible Study on the life of Paul.
Directory for 2023
We want to start fresh in 2023 with a new church directory to include all Friends and Members at Faith.
Thank you to Debi Hitter for taking professional pictures.
This Sundays in the Fireside Room after church on March 12th
Or other arrangements can be made by calling Moe in the office.
Moe has put together the information part of the directory. It is available in the narthex for you to double check.
Volunteers We also have signups for volunteers for Coffee Hour hosts, Acolytes, Altar Flowers, Greeters is in the Fireside. We have a complete list of possibilities and explanations in the narthex as well.
Music Are you interested in bell choir or a choir or just singing with Pastor as a duet or quartet. We may be able to move rehearsals for bells to Sunday after church. Let Pastor know by responding to this email.
Pantry Our next pantry day is March 11 and 25. If you know of someone in need of food who cannot make our normal second and fourth Saturday mornings, please give Carol Jensen a call @ 951.217.2838. We also have adult diapers if you know people in need of those.
If you are a Thrivent member, please use your Action Team to purchase items for the pantry. Remember as well to direct your Choice dollars. We always have the need for pasta sauce, cereal, canned fruit and Tuna Helper. Thanks to Connie and Elaine for hanging the clothing on racks, which will be put out on Pantry Day. We will let you know when we will be able to accept donations of clothing again.
Office Wednesday and Thursday next two weeks. March 21, 22 and 28, 29.
Quilting – You can join Eleanor, Emily, Paula and Dona on Tuesdays at church or do part of the work at home. Our new visitor, Dana, also has a desire to help. We have all kinds of material available to use. Please talk to Eleanor @ 951-623-3496.
Thread – Geri gave the quilters more spools of thread than they could use. If you would like to purchase large full spools for $1 each just let Eleanor know. It goes to help purchase other quilting material.
MEMBER UPDATES AND PRAYERS AND CELEBRATIONS
Bill Martin is out of the hospital back at Cherry Valley Health Care.
The funeral and committal for Myrene Bunge was wonderful.
- Mimi Houghtaling lost her long time good friend, Al, just after the first of the year.
- We want to remember the Koenig family.
- Jeanne’s surgery was postponed, and other procedures and tests will be attempted first.
- Jessica Calendar, the Koenig’s daughter has been diagnosed with CLL leukemia.
- Lucas Shea, Jeanne and Joe’s grandson, is undergoing psychological treatment.
- Eleanor Diaz would appreciate prayers for her sister, Tonya, and her son and family.
- The Cady’s would appreciate prayers for his mother, Donna, who moved to a care facility and for their daughter’s friend, Brooke, who suffered a stroke.
- Kim Guevara’s brother, Jim, is much improved and is working with Mayo clinic with a long stem cell procedure.
- Caesar’s sister, Maria, was diagnosed with Lymphoma.
- Becky Malinowski is still going through chemo treatments.
- Continued Godly journey for Brendan Simms, son of Bonnie Strack.
DAYLIGHT SAVINGS TIME FOR THIS SUNDAY, MARCH 12.
March 8 – 29 Lenten Soup Suppers sorry we missed last week. But we are on for the 8th then all the Wednesdays in March. We will meet for soup and study in the Fireside room at 5 pm each week. We will study the Life of St. Paul with video and study material.
April 7 – Good Friday
April 9 – Easter