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Being Saved

I was struck this morning by an article in Sunday's New York Times, "What College Teaches Conservatives: Life on the Defensive Can Curdle into Reactionary Politics" You should read it, but in case you don't have time...

Article Synopsis: Free speech and open debate have become a rarity on liberal campuses. conservatives all too often encounter hostility. The result: the formation of right-wing firebrands - some of whom ascend to the highest seats of power and influence.

UT fits the bill as far as "liberal campuses" are concerned, but that's not what I found striking. 

I'm struck by how Jesus' conversation with a nameless Samaritan woman at a well might form and inform us in our engagement with the "minority view." 

Last night, the LuMin worship community listened in on this interaction between Jesus and a nameless Samaritan woman alone at a well at noon. (John 4:5-42)

The minority view at that well, in truth, was Jesus'. He's a Jew in Samaria. Also, he's God made flesh...so there's that.

Still, 21st Century Christian listeners probably don't automatically see it that way. 

The Samaritan woman is the minority view - she's the "other." And look how Jesus approaches

the "other": 

He transgresses boundary after boundary after boundary. And for what? To be in a life-giving, life-saving relationship with this "otherly," isolated woman. 

Jesus had every reason to wait for his disciples to return from the grocery story - rather than get a drink from that woman at the well. Nevertheless: Jesus asks her for a drink. 

He sees her. 

He respects her. 

He listens to her. 

He names her pain (she has had five husbands - all of who divorced her...likely due to her being barren.) 

And he remains there, waxes theological with her, reveals his identity to her..all of which embody what "For God so loved the WORLD" truly means.

God's love for ALL means ALL.  

God loves those who hate.  

God loves those who hold minority views. 

God loves right-wing firebrands in the making. 

God even loves flaming liberal fundamentalists.

Were Jesus to keep outdoor office hours on the West Mall, he'd walk over to the College Republican's table and ask them for a drink. (DOH!)

You've heard it averred, "Jesus Saves."

Being saved by JESUS, my friends, is far more than receiving your pie in the sky when you die (something quite beyond your control),  

Jesus shows us at that well that real "right now" salvation is being saved from isolation and sectarianism. Real salvation is being seen, being respected, being listened to, and being made whole.

Real "right now" salvation comes to us through transgressing boundary upon boundary for the sake of being in life-giving, life-saving relationship.

Want to look and feel a bit more saved?  Seek to be in a genuine caring relationship with those who everyone else is shunning. You'll need a bit of God's grace to do so. Such radical welcome and love doesn't come naturally. 

Thank God, for offering us this saving grace every week: 

Sundays @ 7PM in the upper room of Texas Hillel. Come and see!

Grace and peace to you!