From the wilderness into the light


Today’s Gospel reading for the Sunday Eucharist is John 4.5-42: The Story of the woman of Samaria.  So many questions spring to mind.  Was this Samaritan woman an outcast (as has often been interpreted from this passage)?  Was she going through her own desert wilderness in life?  Was her thirst just as much a spiritual longing as a physical need for water?  Just how many social taboos did Jesus trample on when speaking to her – a woman; a Samaritan?  And how did this make her feel?  It does seem that she returned to her people, overflowing with news of the Messiah who had seen right through her and told her everything she had done.  It seems something changed within her.  There’s a freedom about her as she is offered the water of eternal life.  She is free.  She flies.  Certainly, we read that many believed because of her testimony.  Listen to Touch the Sky from the soundtrack of the Walt Disney film, Brave.  I’ve often used it the middle of a Lent course.  Written by Alex Mandel and Mark Andrews, and performed by Julie Fowlis, I find this Celtic inspired song begins to lead us out of the kind of wilderness that the Samaritan woman may have been experiencing ‘into the light’.  The woman at the well had a life-changing story to tell.  We, too, can be part of that amazing story of Christ’s love, which enables us all to ‘ride’, to ‘fly’, to ‘chase the wind’ and ‘touch the sky’.

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