Pause

Surprise. Even shock. These can be part of the experience when knowledge is suddenly discovered.

But revelations are also the source of wider and deeper understanding, resulting in personal challenge that leads to change.

Watch for new insights that result from taking these next few moments to listen for what God might have you know.

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Listen

A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”

John 4:7–10

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Think

The nature of division in our world both confines us and comforts us. Its boundaries give us easy ways to identify ourselves and others. We shackle chains around the wrists of those we meet by assessing them and assigning them their roles to play. Others do the same to us. Unaware of how to escape the system, we hold out our own wrists and submit to the role others deem us worthy to play.

Standing by the well, the Samaritan woman was locked into her role as the social outcast. Defeated and resigned, she could barely recognize the freedom in Jesus’ voice. Unable to fully comprehend, her shackles were too tight to even grasp the gift of living water standing before her.

What shackles are binding you from truly hearing words of freedom this day? How are your words and behaviors binding others to stereotypes that limit their ability to taste living water?

Carol Harston

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Pray

God of freedom, unshackle the chains that keep me bound to systems of oppression. In your grace, help me hear your words and taste your grace. Amen.

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Go

Go now, willing to be set free
By words that bring new life,
By grace that brings new light.

Prepare yourself for knowledge that brings peace
Which knows no limits.

God is giving you reasons to be hopeful
And a new song to sing.

Carol Harston

Carol Harston has served as minister to youth at Highland Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, since 2007. Born and raised at Highland, Carol has found the joy of caring for youth in the same community that shaped her as a young person. Outside of youth ministry, Carol has her hands full as a mom to James (3 years old) and Collier (11 months old) and wife to Drew (orthopedic surgery resident and faithful youth volunteer).

Reflections on the Way: Oh How I Love Jesus - What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Ken Medema - kenmedema.com

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