Pride and Grace

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.'” John 4:10

As we prepare for pride weekend, I can’t help but remember some of the faces from past Pride events that we have worked in the church booth. There have been faces from all walks of life… Some who were raised in the church, some who once knew God, and some who have never known God at all. No matter who they are, they all had one thing in common… They were all looking for something. Whether it was a free pen or just wanting information about us as a church or just to have their picture taken with the “Yes you can be gay and Christian sign”. They were all looking for something. All those things are good, but what they were actually looking for is for someone to show them Jesus.
Jesus is absolutely what and who they need, but we can’t show them Jesus without showing them grace first. Grace should come before our judgment of anyone who we may meet at our pride booth. Grace often comes as a surprise when we are least expecting it. There was a woman who went to draw water at a well.  It was around noon…the hottest part of the day. She wasn’t looking for anything, just going about her day, doing her duty as she always had.  She had no idea someone was waiting for her. She could not have guessed the surprise she was about to encounter.
“Draw me water,” Jesus asked.  He had been sitting there, tired and thirsty from his day of traveling. Shocked and a bit startled, she wondered how he could ask this of her?  She was a woman, and a Samaritan woman whom the Jews despised. Asking for water would make him ceremonially unclean. Jesus told her that he could give her “living water” so that she would never thirst again.  He baffled her once more. Jesus then revealed she had had five husbands and was living with one whom she was not married to.  He caught her attention a third time.
Grace was waiting for her that day.  Grace was sitting there, eager to give her a glimpse, a taste of something beyond her circumstances.  Grace wanted to encounter her in a way only it could… to touch her beyond her physical needs and heal her eternally. Perhaps Jesus knew there was a longing in her heart that she hadn’t yet expressed. She needed redemption; someone to rescue her from the turmoil of her life.  We know she was touched in a powerful way because the accounts show that because of her story, many Samaritans came to believe in Jesus as their Savior.
So… As we meet people this weekend. Whether it be the drunk girl who stops to sing along to a worship song. Or it may be a person who is so hurt and angry at the church who threw him out for being gay. Remember, it always starts with God’s grace. Then and only then can we bring them to a loving, caring father who will meet them exactly where they are.
Pastor Gina