Monday, April 17, 2006

Dazzled by Christ ::

A woman approached the village well in the heat of the day. On this day a visitor met her, a rabbi journeying from the south. Their con­versation took the form of a game, with move and countermove, covering the gamut of her life. He knew the story of her racial and gender-borne oppression, a cas­cade of broken marriages, empty religion; spiritual longing. With each sentence the rabbi re­vealed her se­crets and circum­vented her defenses until all her tactics of avoidance lay in the dust. Upon the dry barren­ness of her soul came a refreshing water of life not drawn from the well but from deep within. Her testimony brought a whole town to Jesus, "He told me everything I ever did" (John 4:39).

Witnessing his signs and wonders, Jesus' bedazzled followers were aston­ished at what God could do. As Jesus went about teaching, preach­ing and healing during the begin­ning of his ministry, the news got out and people flocked to him. They were amazed at this teaching because of his authority and authenticity.

Dazzlement is a beginning or new beginning of Christ's ministry in our lives. New converts are swept off their feet in a novel way of being and living. Stagnant disciples, distracted once again by the initiative of God, are renewed in their enthusiasm and interest in Christ.

Dazzlement is the feeling that life makes sense; that the pieces fit. We are so captivated by Christ that everything else pales. It is a finding and being found out; knowing and being known. Dazzlement is con­nection with the engine room of creativity: it is the wind in your unfurled sails.

Cultivating a sense of dazzlement is key to a meaning­ful and growing relationship with Christ because it refreshes us and inspires us to continue the journey. Otherwise our relationship with the Water of Life turns to hard religious stone.