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To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.

That’s what the woman said, in a voice that was at once pleading, anguished and resigned.

Who is this woman you say? To get the entire context, you really need to read John 4, and then to watch this video monologue to hear from a modern day counterpart of the Samaritan woman.

Bert gave a heartfelt talk last Sunday about the Samaritan women we create in our own lives and communities. The excluded people, the ones who are too different, too frightening or too sinful for us.  The people we do not want to know, and therefore will not learn to love.

When I was a student, one such place in my mental map was the council estate close to where I stayed, known for drugs, crime and other unsavoury business. It was a place I hurried through in the day, avoided at night and certainly did not stop to chat to any of its residents. Little known, and little loved.

Until, that is, someone who lived there actually joined the Christian group I was a part of.

She was unmistakably different from the rest of us, in all kinds of ways. But she undeniably loved God, indeed with such a passion that put most of us to shame.  And as we talk and prayed and served God together, she introduced us to a world that we previously knew little about. We learnt about the challenges of growing up in that world, about family life there, about the hopes and dreams and frustrations of a resident of that world. She brought us home to meet her family, and showed us the way her people celebrated a birthday.

And suddenly, I started noticing the people of the estate. They became human.

To be known is to be loved and to be loved is to be known.

I think that’s part of the reason Jesus came to earth – to demonstrate his love by becoming one of us. Of course he always loved us. But this was the proof – God becoming man, sharing his life with a bunch of ordinary folk, enduring human hardship and temptation, dying a criminal’s death, then rising again to give us life.

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

This was a continuation of our series for this year. You can find the notes of the message as well as the worship at the BCEC Sermon Page or listen to last week’s sermon directly – Why Love Our Neighbours?.

Posted in 2011 Love Beyond, Sunday Service and tagged , .