The Lord’s Message:  Worship:  God Knows Us and Loves Us

The Lord’s Message:  Worship:  God Knows Us and Loves Us
Date:  September 10, 2023
Where:  Tilghman United Methodist Church
Scripture Reference:  John 4:16-18

            Last Sunday, we began a new sermon series, Worship, referencing the Book of John, Chapter 4.  Last Sunday, we discovered that God desires to have a relationship with us.  Jesus went to the town of Sychar or Shechem.  There at the well He engaged in conversation with a Samaritan woman.  This is the longest recorded conversation that Jesus has with anyone.  Jesus is breaking down two barriers by talking with the Samaritan woman.  First, Jesus, being a man, talking to a woman that was not his wife or daughter was forbidden. Second, Jews did not talk with or associate with Samaritans.  The Jewish people considered Samaritans as impure because they did not follow the Jewish commandments.  Despite these social barriers, Jesus goes out of His way to have a relationship with the woman.  God desires relationship with us. 

This Sunday, we are going to find out that we can worship God even though God knows us and loves us. 

Let us pray. 

Jesus continues His conversation with the Samaritan woman.  They have been discussing “Living Water.”  The woman thinks that this “Living Water” will provide her with a way that she does not have to come to this well in the heat of the day to draw water.  Jesus is offering her a relationship above all other relationships. 

To explain this to her, Jesus asks her to call her husband.  Her response is that she has no husband.  Jesus informs her that her answer is correct because she has had five husbands and the person that she is now living with is not her husband. 

I looked at numerous commentaries on these 3 verses and most of them said that Jesus is revealing that she cannot hide her sin of promiscuity.  That did not sit with me.  The Holy Spirit was leading me to explore these verses more in depth.    

If we think about the culture being a male dominated.  This woman could not divorce her husband.  She did not have the authority.  This woman was caught in a trap of being divorced by 5 men and even the man that she is living with will not marry her.  Worse yet, the men and women of the town of Sychar are shunning her.  Can you imagine her being watched with angry stares as she goes each day to draw water?  She may not have caused her situation.  She may not have had any control of the results of her life.

Jesus did not go to this well just because He was parched from His journey.  He went to this well because there was another that had a greater thirst.  This woman thirsted to be freed from her life situation.  She has a greater thirst. 

Is there anyone here that feels that they are caught in a trap?  That trap may be an addiction that they are trying to overcome.  You have tried everything and nothing is working.  This may not be something that you have caused. For example, a friend of mine was involved in a car accident.  He was rear ended.  He suffered from broken bones in his back.  He was in great pain.  His doctor prescribed Oxycodone for the pain.  He realized that he was hooked on the drug.  He goes to the doctor and tells the doctor that he thinks he is hooked on the drug.  The doctor told him to get out of his office and never come back.  He went into depression.  He was so hooked on the drug, but he could not afford it.  He ended up turning to cocaine for relief, getting it from drug dealers.  He lost his job.  He lost his wife and family.   He ended up going to jail for some time.  He was trapped.  I met him after he had gone through a detoxification program and was trying to put his life back together.  He was parched and thirsting for God.  He was still dealing with a sense of shame.  He knew that only by trusting in God could he turn his life around.  He came to the church and found loving people that cared for him. 

In Africa, guerilla militia are going into villages and conscripting boys as young as nine years old into their armies.  In Afghanistan, girls are meeting in secret to be educated, because the Taliban does not want girls to be educated.  Some girls are being smuggled out of the country so that they can get an education.  Many people in countries around the world are living in abject poverty.  They are scrounging whatever they can find to feed and care for themselves and their families.  In Ukraine, citizens are dying just for going about their normal lives.   

These are just a few stories. I suspect that you can probably name others where people are trapped by the situations in their life.  Those are situations that they do not have control over in their life.  God knows their life situation and God loves them. 

Now, I would like to focus on the rest of us.  Every one of us here has a past.  We have all done something or said something that we are not proud of.  We may still have that shame that we are attempting to overcome.  I can tell you that you cannot do it by yourself.  You need to give it to God.  God is not scared off by our past.  That is why God sent Jesus to us, so that we would not have a past, but a future.  A future, where we do not have to carry the weight of our shame.  We can leave it at the cross.  We can say to God, “I no longer want to carry this shame.  Please take it from me.  Jesus, I confess my sins and asks for forgiveness.”  God will do that every time.  We need to leave it at the cross and “not” take it up again. 

Every one of us are parched and need “Living Water.”  The Good News is that God knows us and loves us.  Let us worship the Lord.  Amen.

September 12, 2023 5:10 am