Among the first things broken in the fall were relationships—both between people and God and also among people. And unsurprisingly, one of the fundamental kinds of restoration Jesus works is reconciliation—the establishment of peace in relationships that had been defined by conflict. This week we wonder what happened in Sychar the day after Jesus left. Was the woman Jesus met at the well still honored among the neighbors who had shunned her? Was the old enmity between Jews and Samaritans blunted there for good? It’s impossible to know. Is there hope for us, that if we drink Jesus’ living water, we’ll experience lasting, transformative change in ourselves and in our relationships?
To answer that question, we look at Luke 15, where Jesus challenges social norms in much the same way he did in John 4. To explain himself, Jesus tells three parables about reconciliation—very concisely they describe what it looks like, what it accomplishes, and why it fills God to overflowing with joy. We look at the first two this week, and we ask ourselves whether we truly share God’s longing for all people, and if not, why not?