Due to International travel without a computer and an airline delay, this offering for the Third Sunday in Lent is late, but offered prayerfully for timely comfort with some humor.
A Modern Gospel Dialogue adapted from John 4:5-42
Scene: Asian Grocery Store. Jesus is tired and hot after his team takes him from store to store to find food, water, and other essentials in order to continue his ministry of touching and healing both body and spirit. After taking a short cut, they find themselves in a store where the customers are from a minority religious and ethnic group. Not their people. While waiting for his colleagues to finish shopping, Jesus runs into a woman who has come early to avoid the crowds.
Jesus: Hey, can you help me find hand sanitizer?
Woman: What…why are you asking me? I don’t work here. And who are you to talk me since I don’t know you.
Jesus: If you really knew who I was, you would ask me for cleansing from Pure Living Water.
Woman: I can see you haven’t been reading social media. To make sanitizer you need rubbing alcohol, aloe vera, and oil. Our family has been making this sanitizer for generations. Is your product better than Jacob’s Gel Co.?
Jesus: Well Jacob’s Gel is sold out and unavailable, but I have Pure Living Water that will never run out, and you will never need anything else to cleanse you ever again.
Woman: Well then, please give it to me.
Jesus: Ok, but go get your husband.
Woman: What, are you crazy, I don’t need a man to shop, and besides… I’m not married.
Jesus: I know you are not married. I see you. I know your situation. You have been married several times and hurt so badly you don’t trust anyone. And the last marriage was so abusive that you had to run away. And now you are living in shame with someone else.
Woman: How do you know these things about me? Did you stalk me on Facebook? Or hey, you look like the actor on the Netflix series, The Messiah.
Jesus: I AM the Messiah. You need to quit all that binge watching and spend time in prayer and repentance to know God in spirit and truth. God our Father is Spirit and he has sent me so that you may believe and find God’s love and forgiveness.
The disciples come back and are confused to find Jesus talking with a woman outside of their group. In the mean time, she leaves her full cart behind and starts telling everyone in the store about how Jesus has healed her and given her new life.
Woman: This man knows everything about my life, my bitterness and anger, and still offers me faith and forgiveness. He is the promised one, the Christ!
The local community was amazed by the change in the woman and asked Jesus to stay with them a few days. He spent time with them to listen to their stories and share words of truth and peace.
Jesus: Listen to my words and be comforted: Whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will have a spring of water welling up to eternal life. Remember what Isaiah the prophet said, “Behold God is my salvation. I will trust and not be afraid. For the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation. With joy you will draw from the wells of salvation.” (Isaiah 12:2-3)
Jesus: And listen to these words from God: I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. (Ezekiel 36:25)
After spending personal time with Jesus and hearing the Word of God, they believed for themselves that Jesus is the Savior sent by God. Amen.