“I don’t think I’m going to get to hear the speaker today. I’m the only one here to set up for lunch. So, thanks for coming in! I really appreciate that you two just showed up to help me get things done. By the way, what brought you here today?” asked a woman from an inner-city Philadelphia church, who was apparently in charge of (and totally on her own) preparing the lunch for her church’s Spiritual Renewal Day.
I smiled, kept cutting up tomatoes and getting sandwich platters ready and said, “We’re happy to help! It’ll go much faster if we work together, then, we can all go upstairs when the first session begins.” DeAnne, my sister in Christ and Administrative Angel, who was ministering with me that day, agreed, and kept cutting her own boatload of tomatoes and filling the platters with all sorts of food. DeAnne also identified me as the speaker for this Spiritual Renewal Day.
The woman was completely surprised. She never expected that the guest ministry team would just show up in the kitchen and start working with her when we saw her need for help. But! If we’re supposed to become more and more like Jesus, isn’t that exactly where Jesus would have been? And isn’t that exactly where we should have just showed up?
Jesus just showed up – and kept showing up. Just where He was supposed to be. Just with whom He was supposed to be. And every time, Jesus did His Father’s work. Sometimes Jesus showed up to heal the hurting and the helpless. Sometimes Jesus showed up to set people free from demons. Sometimes Jesus showed up to teach parables and lessons about the Kingdom of God. Sometimes Jesus showed up to give out lunch to thousands. Sometimes Jesus showed up to calm the sea. Sometimes Jesus showed up to challenge people’s sense of religious righteousness. Sometimes Jesus showed up to ask people who they think He is.
Sometimes Jesus showed up to clearly tell who He is. That happened one day when Jesus showed up at a well in Samaria – a place hated by the Jews. There, Jesus spoke to a woman who was most likely hated or, at least, held in contempt by her neighbors. She had had five husbands and was now with a man who wasn’t her husband. Yet, it was to her, at that well, at that moment in time, that Jesus showed up to speak. Part of their dialogue went like this:
Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship him in the Spirit and in truth.” The woman said, “I know that Messiah (called Christ) is coming. When he comes he will explain everything to us.” Then Jesus declared, “I, the one who is speaking to you – I am he.” – John 4:21, 24-26
Jesus just showed up. Just where He was supposed to be. Just with whom He was supposed to be. And every time, Jesus did His Father’s work. And that day Jesus took His time to speak with a woman alone at a well – in a hated region, living a broken life – and to her, Jesus announced Himself as the Lord’s Messiah! And she believed. And through this transformed woman’s testimony, “many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him” (John 4:39).
Think about where our Lord may be asking you to just show up to touch a life with the love and kindness, the grace and truth of our Lord Jesus Christ. Then, go! Just show up!