God’s love replaces hopelessness with hope, and death with life — and this is a beautiful promise for Australia’s First Nations people.
“But Jesus needed to go through Samaria. He came to a city of Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied from His journey, sat thus by the well. It was about the sixth hour. A woman of Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, ‘Give Me a drink.’ For His disciples had gone away into the city to buy food. Then the woman of Samaria said to Him, ‘How is it that You, being a Jew, ask a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?’ For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans. Jesus answered and said to her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.’”
The Samaritans were a people of mixed Jewish and non-Jewish heritage: they were a rejected people living in the land of their forefathers. They were despised by the Jews who avoided any kind of contact with Samaritans if they could; they were racially and spiritually rejected. The Samaritans lived knowing they were hated by the Jews (God’s chosen people), but they also lived in waiting for redemption from the Messiah.
But God knew who the Samaritans were. Jesus saw this woman from a long way off. He knew that she would go to the well in the heat of the day to draw water, so that she could avoid the talk and stares of others who judged her because of her lifestyle. I would also suggest that in her alone time at the well, the woman allowed her thoughts to dwell on freedom from her pain, and when it was that the Messiah was coming. Little did she know that Messiah was waiting to meet her at the well.
In this story, God touched her heart. She had once felt hopeless and rejected, but Jesus simply knew the truth as she did. His love and His word spoke deeply into her heart without judgment, and this brought hope and acceptance.
The Scripture above tells us that Jesus needed to go through Samaria. He made the decision to go to Sychar; He knew that the Samaritans needed to meet Him and experience the love of God that was available to them. The agape love of God breaks through chronos and kairos. In the heat of the day, when others avoided going out, Jesus came at the appointed time for the Samaritan woman at the well. Jesus spoke His truth into her lived experience, and Jesus’s truth set her free.
But the story does not end at the well. When the woman heard God’s truth, she shared it with her people. Her story ends in hope for many others who obtained freedom; verses 39-41 reveal that “many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, ‘He told me all that I ever did’. So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days. And many more believed because of His own word.”
God broke through! “But God” are two profound words that shout out the power of the love of God in any situation. These two words bring a profound meaning that God’s agape love can turn nothing into something; bring acceptance from rejection; bring those who feel unloved to one who is beloved by God.
Father, through the cross we received the greatest eternally lasting, unfathomable act of love that is available for all people. Your love does not discriminate. Father, we believe that You have unfinished business in Australia. Lord, we pray for healing to be poured out in the lives of Australia’s First Peoples — the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Father, empower us to carry and impart God’s love through our word and deeds, so that we can break the darkness of rejection and bring Your truth of acceptance. Lord we pray, open our hearts to share Your Word and love, just like the Samaritan woman did to her people. We want to bring Your hope and love to Australia’s First Nations people. Lord, may they have a night-to-day experience — from rejected to accepted; from death to life. We pray and speak life over Australia’s First Peoples, and life abundantly. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Prayer Points for October 2020
1. Pray for a Breakthrough for LIFE, specifically an end to abortion and euthanasia in our nation. Exodus 20:13
2. Pray for a Breakthrough for INDIGENOUS LIFE, specifically an end to high youth suicide and premature death due to ill health. 3 John 1:2
3. Pray for new POLITICIANS for LIFE, especially pray for the upcoming elections in Queensland (31st October), ACT (17th October) + USA (3 November). Proverbs 29:2
4. Pray for the Revitalisation of SPIRITUAL LIFE, namely repentance, renewal & transformation, that our nation might return to God. 2 Chronicles 7:14
Dr Lynore Geia is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander woman born and raised on Palm Island. She has over 30 years’ experience as a nurse and midwife with her most extensive practice being in rural and remote health, particularly in Aboriginal women’s health and birthing in Central Australia. Lynore is currently the Academic Lead for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Indigenous Futures Research Lead in the Centre for Nursing and Midwifery Research, at the College of Health Care Sciences, James Cook University.
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Daily devotions brought to you by the Canberra Declaration.