Thursday, 28 February 2013

Life giving water

Today has been a day of reflection on wells and water. We made our way first thing into the Palestinian land to the town of Nablus. It was a time to not only admire Greek Orthodox Church, and see Jacobs Well beneath but to drink of the hospitality of local Christians at the Anglican Church. The life giving water that Jesus promised is now still offered in the town by the local Anglican Church as they offer healthcare at St Luke's hospital, their nursery for children from the poorer part of town and have given land to the Muslims to build a mosque. The vicar oozed energy and passion. The encounter with Jesus and the woman, her offer of a drink and his willingness to meet her where she was came home to me this afternoon as three male bishops stood in the river Jordan. Suddenly 2000 years later life did not seem to have changed much, and I was aware of Jesus' welcome and call as opposed to the repression of women there still is in society and the church. Many found it helpful to renew their baptism vows as I held on to the inner conviction that I was in the right place and doing God's work (I am mad that women in the church still feel this). The comfort was that one of the bishop's felt the pain too. We checked into our accommodation in Bethlehem around 5pm having battled the Jerusalem traffic. I look forward to tomorrow and pondering the Nativity with the green coach.

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