The Trumpet Sounds: ‘Breakdowns’

By Barry Pettit - Religion Writer

As you are well aware 2020 has been a year like none other. I remember being so excited about the New Year and all the opportunities that came with it. I had so many goals, ideas, plans, and events that I was prepared to dive into just like most people. However, as you know 2020 didn’t turn out as I had anticipated. It almost feels like 2020 has been a breakdown of everything I’ve known in my life. It almost feels like we are all suddenly in a Stephen King movie.

Who would have thought that everything would come to a screeching stop? Who would have known that a new virus would come that no one in the world was prepared for? Who would have known that we would experience food shortages, economic hardship, racial tension, and so many conflicts so soon? Have you ever been riding in your vehicle and suddenly had a breakdown? You had plans that day and a destination. You had goals and were filled with ambition. You were excited about where you were headed and then suddenly there you were broke down on the side of the road. For me, this is a fair description so far of 2020.

In the gospel of John in chapter 4 we read about a woman whose life appears to have been one continuous breakdown. I’m sure she wanted a good life. She had attempted to have good relationships. She kept trying to get to a better place, but she just kept breaking down. The Bible doesn’t give us her name but it refers to her as the Samaritan woman. The encounter between her and Jesus takes place at Jacob’s well. Jesus had been travelling, and out of fatigue he sat down at the well to rest for a moment. You see even our Lord Jesus needed rest! It was in this setting that the Samaritan woman has a day that she never expected. Now understand there was great racial hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans. During the time of Jesus there were two groups of people—the Jews and the Samaritans—that were not only at odds with one another, but they despised one another because of a hostile history that went back almost eight hundred years! Not only did they hate one another but they never spoke to one another unless it was harsh words filled with hate. It’s in this context that Jesus breaks the traditions of his times to speak to this woman at the well.

It was hot that day and as you know when it is extremely hot we all need to quench our thirst. As she begins to draw water at noon Jesus asks her for a drink. Now the reason she was there at noon was to avoid people out of her shame from the breakdowns she had in her life. It was the custom for women in that culture to draw water in the morning, but she came at the hottest time of the day to avoid people. She never expected to see anyone there at noon let alone a Jewish teacher that would speak to her in public. So as she stands by the well with an empty bucket and an empty life Jesus begins to speak words of life to her and gives her hope. Often when people are broke down they have a break down. We don’t know how she felt that day, but we do know that she had been married 5 times and the man that she is now living with isn’t her husband. She desperately needed a breakthrough in her life.

It has been said that “we can live about forty days without food, about three days without water, about eight minutes without air, but only for one second without hope.” This Samaritan woman has had an empty life. She had failed in her relationships. In her culture she would have been looked down on and hated. I’m sure she was the talk of the town. I bet people said things about her like “don’t date her she can’t keep a husband. Have you heard how many times she has been married and now she is living with another man!” Nevertheless she came that day thirsty to get physical water and left with living water that never goes dry. You see, she may have thought it was just another day and even though she couldn’t get to hope, hope came to her! She came feeling empty, but after meeting Jesus she left completely full!

How about you? Are you thirsty? Where are you looking for hope in 2020? Do you feel broken down? Are you on the edge of a break down? If so, there is hope and His name is Jesus! This Sunday at South Side we will unpack this powerful story further as well as it’s applications for our lives today. Worship begins at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you are unable to attend our online services will be available at 3 on Facebook and our website. We would love to have your family worship with us! For more information visit us on our website at: or on Facebook.

In Christ,

Barry Pettit

Lead Pastor

South Side Church of Christ

By Barry Pettit

Religion Writer