You choose a donkey rather than a proud camel.
You meet us at the well, rather than the synagogue.
We expect to find you in this place, on a Sunday morning,
But you are waiting for us in the supermarket, in the playground, in the taxi, every day of the week.
You invite us to go with you,
as the Samaritan woman invited her village,
as Abraham’s servant invited Rebecca.
Forgive us, Lord,
for we allow the call of the world to drown out your invitation,
the brightness of our toys to dull our sight,
and there is no room for you in the busyness of our lives.
The fear of missing out is so strong, we dare not stop and listen.
If we go with you, what will happen to our friends, our future our fortune.
If we don’t Like and Post and Update and Share, we’ll be left behind.
No-one will Like us.
We will be unfriended and alone in the cyber world we call our home –
where we count Friends and Likes and Shares to determine our worth.
Yet, Lord, you offer to fill the much deeper emptiness within:
our longing for value, for meaning, for purpose;
our cry for healing, forgiveness and love.
But the noise of the world drowns out our cries.
Our busyness fills the empty spaces for a while,
allowing us to make believe that all is well.
But ‘make believe’ doesn’t see us through the night.
Virtual friends don’t embrace us and walk the darkness with us.
Still, Lord, we are afraid to commit.
Our virtual world allows us to flit here and there,
to ignore the uncomfortable, scorn the ugly and laugh at the foolish.
We choose our own way, our own friends our own family.
It’s hard for us to go with you, to commit to your journey, to become your family.
Help us to hear your voice, Lord Jesus, and respond to your call.
Free us from the demands of the world and the demands of our dreams.
Open our hearts to your love,
Open our ears to the cry of our neighbours
And our arms to embrace them.
Drive us into the highways and byways,
The corridors and shopping aisles,
The boardrooms and playrooms.
Give us courage to declare our love for you
And to issue the invitation with boldness:
‘Come see a man ….’
[A prayer used in conjunction with the story-sermon Rebecca: The Other Woman at the Well]