Encountering the Samaritan Woman

by Rev. Alexia Salvatierra

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Call: We are moved and inspired by the encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. He takes her seriously, listening to her questions and responding with the fullest truth possible.

Response: We grieve that women are not always listened to in this way.  We mourn when anyone’s questions and creative ideas are not responded to with profound respect.  We lament when women and men fall silent because they believe that they will not be heard. Change us, God of all truth.

Call:  We are moved and inspired when Jesus treats the Samaritan woman with compassion and warmth, not allowing her sexual transgressions to create any barrier or distance between them.

Response: We grieve that women and men who have stepped across the lines sexually are so often judged in a way that limits or excludes them from full participation in the church.  Recognizing that the pain caused by sexual abuse must be faced and perpetrators held accountable, we are grateful that true sorrow for sin, transformation, healing and forgiveness is possible. Change us, God of all grace, whose blood can cleanse and set us free.

Call: We are moved and inspired when Jesus calls the Samaritan woman past her brokenness into her full vocation, sending her as an evangelist to her people.

Response:  We grieve that women’s vocations have so often been ignored, unsupported or actively impeded.  Change us, God of power, so that every gift will be valued and used for your glory and for the healing and salvation of the world.

Call:  We are moved and inspired when Jesus breaks the societal barriers that keep whole communities from abundant life, tearing down the barriers between Jews and Samaritans, between men and women, between the insiders and the outsiders so that justice flows down like mighty waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream. 

Response: Change us, God who liberates slaves, so that we may join with all our hearts and gifts in every blessed struggle for freedom and fairness.

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Rev. Alexia Salvatierra is the author with Dr. Peter Heltzel of “Faith-Rooted Organizing: Mobilizing the Church in Service to the World” (Intervarsity Press) and the founder of the Faith-Rooted Organizing UnNetwork. She is a Lutheran Pastor with over 35 years of experience in community ministry, including church-based service and community development programs, congregational and community organizing, and legislative advocacy.  For Rev. Salvatierra's full bio, click here.