Jesus goes out of his way to meet this one woman at the well.
If you’ve followed this series of posts so far, you’ll know just what that meant for all those involved. For the woman, for the followers of Jesus, and for Jesus himself. Hundreds of years of hatred, prejudice and separation. In one moment, all wiped away as the One became the focus.
There is nothing like disagreement to bring about division. We disagree. We focus on what we disagree on. We have already started a slippery path. We haven’t held to that which holds us together. That which brings harmony and unity.
We find more to disagree about. We begin to separate. We find even more to disagree about as we walk separately. Division becomes the norm. From division can spring dislike, dislike can breed hate. Before we know it, we can be living just as the Jews and the Samaritans did.
I wonder if anyone was to ask the Jews and Samaritans at the time of Jesus; Why do you hate each other so? What happened?
Would anyone have remembered? Would anyone have known? Possibly. But perhaps for some they simply knew they had nothing to do with one another.
Back to Christ. This last week I’ve had this phrase in mind,
Christ, the Great Unifier
Last week I had the absolute privilege of sitting and talking for almost two hours with two of the Mormon Sister Missionaries. Before I arrived, I already knew that Jesus was saying “Don’t argue, don’t focus on what you disagree on. Talk about me, I will be the unifier.”
So when they arrived at the Wetherspoons pub, the first thing that came to me to say was this. “I am not going to get out my bible, argue scripture with you, disagree with what one book says different to the other. I want to talk with you about Jesus. I want to know your story and how he became your story. How he speaks with you, what he says, how his Life leads you, changes you, flows through you to others.”
What a difference that makes! I could see and feel unity between us when Jesus was central. “That’s so true” was a common phrase as Jesus was shared.
And I could see and feel the separation when he wasn’t central. So I determined to keep him central the whole time!
Jesus himself is the great unifier. When we start with Christ, so much else just falls away. We are so often looking to pick a fight rather than find the great unifier in a situation.
Jesus first and foremost was the great unifier for the woman at the well. In us, Christ is the great unifier as the One picks up all the broken pieces within us, and in himself makes us whole again. We become one with him.
Christ repairs what is broken. He puts together what is divided. He unifies what is separated.
As the woman receives Jesus himself, she then desires to go back to the town and say, “Come see a man.” Jesus mends the separation she feels from those in her town, that which causes her to come to the well in the hottest part of the day when no-one else is there.
And then as the people themselves receive Jesus, he wipes away all the hundreds of years of hatred, prejudice and separation.
There are some interesting words that came to me the last couple of days.
Discord – disagreement between people; A lack of harmony between notes sounding together; disagree; a lack of agreement or harmony between things
The origin of that word comes from the Latin. Dis – which expresses negation; the absence of something actual or positive. And cord – heart.
So the meaning of the word discord is the absence of something positive in the heart!
Concord – agreement or harmony between people or groups; a chord that is pleasing or satisfactory in itself.
The origin of this word is also Latin. Con – together. And as above, cord, meaning heart.
So that meaning is together in heart!
The discordant ‘song’ of disagreement, unpleasant to the ear, painful at times, lacking harmony. That is one song that we can be singing.
Or we can be a part of the song that is playing when the focus is Christ is all. Beautiful, full of harmony, chords which are pleasing and satisfactory to the ear.
Unifier – Old French. One; to make into one.
Isn’t that the purpose of Christ, to bring into unity that which is separated? To make into one that which is divided? To wipe away that which is discordant and change it to that which is concordant?
When Jesus sat at the well, that’s what he was doing. He was making into one all that was divided in the woman, in the town, and between their nations. Simply by being himself, and simply by their focus being solely on him.
And that is what the Father is doing with us. When Christ is all, we are conscious of our oneness with Christ in us. Our hearts are whole, mended, in harmony. When Christ is all, and a people are focused solely on him, the same happens. Divisions disappear, hearts are mended, and there is harmony.
That’s the Great Unifier at work. And the Great Unifier is at work!
Eat the Bread. Drink the Living Water. Christ is all. Let him be all for each one of us.