I’m sure many of you remember the old Disney movie the classic “Snow White.” The original scene in the movie begins with the castle. The camera zooms in on the castle, and we discover Snow White isolated all alone by herself.
She is being treated like a slave. Her clothes are tattered. She is washing the steps. She decides to go to the well and draw some water. As she begins walking to the well, she begins talking to the birds. She has no one else to talk to. She is lonely.
She says to the birds, “Do you want to know secrets? Promise not to tell? We are standing by a wishing well.” She begins to sing, and she says these words, “Make a wish into the well. That is all you have to do. If you hear it echoing, your wish will soon come true.
As she looks at the water, the water begins to respond back. She is really lonely, and she begins singing, “I am wishing for the one I love to find me today. I am hoping, and I am dreaming of the nice things he will say. I am wishing for the one I love to find me today.”
The Samaritan woman was at the well. She is very much like Snow White. She was lonely. She was isolated. She was not supposed to share anything with the Jews. She goes to the well to draw water.
Instead of meeting a prince, she meets someone even better. She meets Jesus. Jesus knows that she is isolated, and he knows that she has been rejected. He also knows her sin. He knows that she has had five husbands, and the one that she lives with now is not her husband. He still interacts with her.
He says to her, “Give me a drink.” She is confused because there is this Jewish person asking her for a drink. She is not supposed to touch anything from the Jews because it would be contaminated. She says, “How can you, a Jew, ask me for a drink?”
Then he goes on to interact with her and, before you know it, he reveals all of her sins. He tells her everything about her, and she realizes that this man is Christ, a prophet. He knows everything about her.
The wonderful thing is that she does not feel judged or condemned. She feels his love. Sin ultimately isolates us. When we sin, we are not only isolated from other people, but we are isolated from God.
We have a physical model of this with the Coronavirus. We are supposed to practice social isolation. We are supposed to isolate ourselves from other people. If we get near another person, we are supposed to stand a few feet away from them, not shake their hands, not to touch them.
I don’t know about you, but it feels really weird to me to not be able to interact with people, or shake their hands, or hug them, or get close to them. I feel isolated. That is what sin does to us. It isolates us from other people and, the deeper the sin, the deeper the isolation and the greater the shame.
I want to tell you a secret. We are standing here at the wishing well. If we come to this altar of God, Jesus wants to meet us here even in our sin and even in our shamefulness. He wants to meet us and to love us, and he is better than the prince. He wants to give us this eternal life, too. This indwelling of the Holy Spirit flows through us.
Lent is really a great time to focus on our sin. What is it that isolates us? What is that sin? We all probably have that one sin that makes us very selfish. That sin that keeps us to ourselves. That sin that keeps us away from other people. That is hidden. That is dark. That is shameful and that keeps us from God.
Lent is really a time to encounter Christ in the midst of this. If you have not been to confession this Lent, it is really a good time to go to confession. Jesus can meet us in our sin and love us in our sin. He can forgive us of our sin and ultimately take us out of isolation and bring us back here to the well.
For each one of us, I think it is important to realize that we are isolated, but God wants to meet us in our isolation.
So, in just a few moments, as the bread and wine are changed into the Body and Blood of Christ, we all come forward to this well, and we receive the life giving water, the eternal strength – eternal life right here.