“There’s a Group for Everyone” by Karen Theckston, Fiat Ventures

Samaritan Woman
Jesus at the Well'
Flickr User tribalicious

3rd Sunday of Lent

My recent obsession has been joining different Facebook groups. Yes, I still use Facebook and I’m OK with it! There’s even commercials about joining groups– “There’s a Facebook group for everyone”! There’s that commercial about a kazoo group, a group for hound lovers and the commercial for the Dads with Daughters group that, although I’m not a Mets fan, makes me tear up every time I see it. One of my current favorite groups is a Due Date group I’m in. It’s open to all mamas who are due with a baby this June. There’s a couple hundred of us in the group and although I’ll likely never meet any of these women IRL, we’ve formed an interesting bond over the past couple of months. We’ve rejoiced when finding out the genders of each others’ babies, cried together when reading about someone’s hard news, shared in the ridiculous cravings we’ve been experiencing (I’ve eaten SO many oranges this pregnancy) and most importantly, prayed for each other and reminded each other that we are not alone in this. It’s a place we can share struggles and questions without judgment. We can even post anonymously if we don’t want anyone else to know the question or comment is coming from us. Again, these are people we will never meet in person, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to hide.

Posting anonymously can sometime make me feel like the woman at the well from this week’s Gospel. Maybe I’m a little embarrassed of something I’ve done or for not living out my best life, and if no one knows who I am, there’s no way they can judge me. It’s easier to run to a group of strangers on Facebook with struggles or embarrassing questions than to talk to a friend or a family member. A group of strangers won’t likely call you out on what you’re doing wrong in a way that a loved one would.

In the Gospel reading, we hear the woman at the well get called out by Jesus. She has lived a life of shame and chooses to go to the well midday when she knows she shouldn’t encounter anyone that might judge her. But Jesus is there and He knows what she’d done and makes it known to her. He doesn’t do this because He is mean or judgmental, but because He wants her to know the truth; He wants her to know Him and how loved she is. Jesus meets the woman where she’s at. Yes, physically at the well but also in her heart. He knows how to reach her, how to make her listen and how to start a relationship with her. Jesus is doing the same for us.

Lent is the perfect time to open our hearts and say yes to Him and His love. Jesus knows our sins. He knows our shortcomings and struggles. He knows our past, present and future. Jesus is using the Gospel to not only call us out on our struggles, but also to remind us that despite knowing our struggles and sins, He still suffered and died for each one of us. We don’t have to be anonymous with Jesus, He loves us regardless.

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