(John 4 lectionary reading, set for 23rd March, 2014)
As I read this, I wonder where I, as a deacon, find myself.
Is it with the disciples, sent to buy bread? Is it with the woman, who gives water to the thirsty man at the well? - diaconal tasks, meeting physical needs.
Is it with the people in my church or parish or my daily work, who wonder and ask questions ‘ who is he? What is he doing? Why is he doing it?’ Are there times simply to be with them as they ask, and wait for Christ himself to explain? In which case, is my mere presence and support, my standing-alongside, sufficient?
Am I with the woman as she asks those questions myself? I don’t always understand what he’s doing.
Am I in the practical, diaconal tasks – or am I, as bridge-builder, as emissary, also with the woman as she runs back to her village and says ‘come and see’?
Do I, in my missional identity, trust sufficiently in Christ as the source of living spiritual water, to encourage others to come to him? Do I see deeply enough into the needs of others, to know how to question, to challenge, to encourage?
Am I the Samaritan who offers hospitality to this wandering young rabbi and his followers? I would have to cross many cultural and religious boundaries to do so.