In this the last week of our Renew Together journey we look at Jesus’ heart for reaching all of creation through the lens of respectful relationships. What does that mean to you? How would you define the characteristics of a relationship as respectful? What are the ways you would wish someone to interact with you which would allow you to know that you were valued, safe, treated as an equal?
Jesus had a well-known encounter with a woman at a well. This woman was a Samaritan, considered by Jews as being of impure blood (half Jew, half gentile), at best she would have been considered a heretic worshipping at a competing temple to the one in Jerusalem, but worse still she was of ill-repute – ostracised by even Samaritan society so that she was found at the well at this time of the day - alone.
Jesus cut through all the racial, social and gender boundaries of the day and spoke to her as an equal. He asks questions gently and humbly. He praises some of the faith he finds in this woman and treats her with gentleness and respect. And as a result, she and many of her community came to believe that Jesus was the Saviour of the whole world!
Now that you have thought a while about how a respectful relationship would look like, what about identifying who the ‘Samaritans’ are in todays world. Who are those that are looked down on– maybe because of gender, faith, cultural or religious heritage. How could we change our dialogue with these people and be more like Jesus? Maybe they and members of their community might come to believe that Jesus is indeed their Saviour too!
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