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To Love and To Laugh

Read John 4: 4-26 - the story of the Samaritan woman at the well.

Soon a Samaritan woman came to draw water. and Jesus asked for a drink. He was alone at the time as his disciples had gone into the village to buy food. The woman was surprised that a Jew would ask a "despised Samaritan" for anything - usually they wouldn't even speak to them! - and she remarked about this to Jesus.

He replied, "If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I am, you would ask me for some living water!" John 4:7-10 (TLB)

Elizabeth Erlandson lives in Nebraska. When she was in her early twenties, a neighbor invited her to a church service. The pastor talked about the birth of Jesus, his death and resurrection, and how God wants a relationship with us. As part of the service, the ushers distributed slips of paper for the congregation to write down their prayer requests. Elizabeth clearly remembers hers: to love and to laugh.

Loneliness and guilt had filled her with a crushing sense of unworthiness. Like the Samaritan woman in today's reading, she had made choices that isolated her from her family and friends. And like her, she couldn't imagine why Jesus would want to have anything to do with her.

Yet much to the surprise of the Samaritan woman, Jesus talked to her. Though they were strangers, he displayed intimate knowledge of her life and didn't reject her. He offered her a most amazing gift - living water. Bursting with joy, she left her water jar at the well and hurried into town to share her good news. Her testimony was compelling because her spirit had been completely transformed.

In time, God transformed Elizabeth's life as well and led her to faith in Jesus Christ. And then, because God hears and answers prayer, God filled her life with love and laughter.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the good gifts you give us. Thank you especially for the gift of salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ, for we pray in His precious name, Amen.

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