As I write this I have just been to Latvia and spent a few hours in their capital, Riga. I did not understand their language and they both look and behave differently from the people I am used to. This was not comfortable.
In the Reading Jesus is sitting by the town well as He is hot and thirsty, and at the hottest part of the day a woman comes to draw water. They begin to talk together and they begin to appreciate one another. He suggests that prayer needs to be done "in spirit and truth". What might He mean? I would suggest that we ‘ordinary’ people might not know. We are comfortable thinking and speaking in English (or Latvian or Russian) and we usually do not make much of an effort to meet people from a ‘different’ place. Are we even aware that we might need to make a considerable effort if we are to meet "The Son of God"? In the Gospel He speaks of "a water that He shall give". What is that "water"? Have I received it?
All Christians wish to have a personal relationship with Jesus and we tend to do this in many different ways. Often we are unaware of each other's experience of Him. The effort required to begin to understand another person is considerable and, as in the Gospels, it can often occur during the most ordinary of activities such as Lunch or Supper or a cold drink.
All Christians seek to meet Jesus in Sacred Scripture. We read a passage and either imagine ourselves there or we draw out a ‘lesson’ for ourselves. We meet Him in prolonged periods of silence, even in ‘unanswered’ prayer. We meet Him in other people, not only Believers, but especially people in need.
All Christians are aware of the action of The Holy Spirit who influences us in very subtle ways which can be easily missed. Circumstances, decisions, "the Signs of the Times".
One area in which we are perhaps less good at Meeting Jesus is in the future. Do we look forward to His Coming Again? Are we people of Hope? Or do we tend to live in the past where we have been let down, misunderstood and hurt?
As we come together in Services of Christian Unity let us be interested in meeting someone from another place. Let us be interested in how they do things differently. And let us do something together.. sing.. drink tea.. think about Jesus in Saint John*s Gospel and be silent before Him, The Source of Living Water.