John 4:5-42

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

I’d like us to focus for a few minutes this morning on the last verse of the Gospel reading we just heard. St. John writes, “they said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” The people have believed not just because of a witness, but because they have seen and heard Christ themselves. This verse describes the usual Christian pattern of life, and of evangelism. One at a time, particular persons have a life-changing experience with Christ. This is our Faith – man’s relationship with God.

Today we have the story of Photini, the Samaritan Woman. She very literally sits and talks with Christ at the well. A very strange place, we may think, for a conversion, but this reminds us that a person’s meeting with Christ can be anywhere, and at any time. And that person meeting Christ can be anyone – the Samaritans were hated by the Jews. In Photini we see that we can never think “not that person.” [we’re tempted to do this, not that person, but in Samaritan woman we see it can be any one and in any place] Christ opens this woman’s eyes by telling her everything about herself, he knows things about her that no one else knows. And in this meeting, she sees that this man is the Christ. Her first instinct is to run to town and share her experience with other and to bring them back to meet Christ.

This story is a microcosm of the Christian experience: when our souls are converted, we want to share this knowledge in some way with others. We see this in the Scriptures and the lives of the saints, and even today, most people who visit an Orthodox Church have been encouraged or brought by someone whose life has been changed in Christ. But this sharing of Christ is ultimately not enough for the hearer, they also have to step out and meet Christ themselves. Many of Photini’s fellow townspeople believed her words and her experience. Then they also wanted to go and to meet Christ. This is why the last verse is so very important. “Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.”

Our movement, as Christians, our movement in life is toward Christ. To seeing His face and hearing His voice. Our desire is this life-transforming meeting with the Lord. We can meet Him anytime and in any place. And each meeting with Christ, if we are prepared to see and to receive Him, each meeting transforms us more and more. Making us to be what we’re created by God to be – in the image and likeness of the Risen Lord.

Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!

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