Face to face with Jesus

Dear Friends in our Faith,

Last Sunday we parted with a question in our midst: have you come face to face with Jesus? You will recall, just before our last song and hearing the benediction (God’s “good words”) I pronounced this truth: “Sooner or later, we will! Sooner or later we will realise there comes a time when we have/will come face to face with God! Sometimes we meet Jesus, as if for the first time, in a moment of great joy, as in when a child is born; sometimes in our hour of fear or need for love and protection, there by a loved one’s (or our own!) sickbed, or deathbed … So, did you perhaps come face to face with Jesus, maybe even this past week, again?

In the sermon we stopped briefly asking what it means to live “Coram Deo”? It is the realisation, we heard, that it means to live, literally “before (in the presence) of God”. May I ask, please, even as I ask myself … how has your life changed when you came to realise that we live each moment of our lives – in the presence of God? Nothing will change, of course, before we believe that we, (even I!) have come face to face with God; after all, how will we sense the reality that we are living in the ever-presence of God unless we have met Him face to face? How did knowing we live in the presence of God, “Coram Deo” determine how you conducted yourself this past week?

Last week we eavesdropped on the meetings between John the Baptist and Jesus, the times the Baptist came face to face with Jesus. Remember? Before John was born, when Jesus was baptized, and even when Jesus wasn’t physically in John’s presence, while he was in jail on the eve of his beheading?

In Sunday’s sermon, we will meet another person who came face to face with Jesus, and who would never be the same again after their meeting: we will pause for a moment in Samaria, at Jacob’s Well, in the town of Sychar, where Jesus met a Samaritan woman. This town lay on the road from Judea to Galilee, a route normally avoided by the Jews for reasons that will become clear on Sunday. And yet, Jesus travels this route and speaks to this woman, a person deemed unworthy of any notice or conversation! But Jesus speaks to her, respectfully, lovingly, truthfully …

Can we see ourselves, or aspects of our lives, in this woman? Has there been times that we feel our self-despised by others, or by ourselves, uncomfortable as we recall how we have lived our lives, to the point that we avoid any contact with anyone else, not to speak of daring to approach God? (Or we may fool ourselves, of course, thinking that God probably missed this thing that we have successfully hidden from other people.) When we find ourselves in this restless place, it is often exactly then, friends, that God comes to us, first, just like Jesus went to the woman at the well …

Please read John 4: 1-26 and come and meet Jesus again, face to face, joyfully, as we let God’s Word wash over us …

‘Till we meet again,