How are we half way through this series already!!! It will be Christmas before we know it…. So this week we carried on looking at the Widow of Zarephath, after we learnt about her sad circumstances last week and her opinion towards God in regards…
I am over the moon to announce that Mummy Meditations received the honour of Runner Up in the Up and Coming Category at the Premier Digital Awards on Saturday 2nd November 2019. This award recognises the amount of work, effort and passion that has gone into making this a separate blog and community that supports and encourages Christian mums.
We came joint runners up with Ramblings of a Pilgrim, and worthy winners were YouBelong. Do go check them out and all of the other winners and runners up over on the Premier Digital website. The Up and Coming Award specifically recognises “anyone who has been blogging about their faith or the Christian community for less than one year as of 1st May 2019. It is recognises bloggers who have brought a truly fresh and credible voice to the Christian blogging world.”.
Next year we would love to be nominated for Multi-Author Blog of the Year, so that means we need more writers!! If you are interested in joining the team of bloggers here at Mummy Meditations then please do email firstname.lastname@example.org with why you would be a great addition to the team. You don’t need lots of experience, just a willingness to have a go!
Hello Mummy Meditators! Welcome to the third and final summary post on the Samaritan Woman. This week we have been meditating on the following verse: “The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”…
Hello again Mummy Meditators – this week we’ve been carrying on our look at the Samaritan woman and trying to unpick a bit more of her story and why it is so important that its included in the bible. We’ve been meditating on the following…
It’s week one and we’ve set off on another series of “Hello My Name Is” meditations! We will be spending the next ten weeks thinking about these women who have been included in the bible but not named. Why are their stories important? What can we learn from them? Let’s kick it off with the Samaritan Woman in this verse:
“The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)” John 4:9
What is it to be Samaritan?
The first thing we find out about this woman is her nationality. Her identity is tied up in that. She isn’t given a name, only referred to by the fact that she lived in Samaria, so we have to take that on board. The MOST IMPORTANT attribute that she has is being samaritan. I find this hard, as I am sure there are so many other interesting things about this woman. We all have a story and things that make us who we are today, and so it feels kind of cruel to diminish this woman down to just being a samaritan. But for the people of that time it would have been a very important detail and fact, one that would have changed their opinions on the spot and coloured what happens next in the story.
Samaritan VS Jew
The words this woman says indicate that there is something amiss between Samaritans and Jews. The woman is speaking to Jesus, who we know is a Jew, and so she states straight from the off that it is weird for him to be doing so. Before this encounter, Samaria had been where the tribe of Joseph had settled (the half tribe of Ephraim and Mannessah) in the promised land. But it had been invaded by the King of Assyria, and its population taken into exile. When they returned, they were polluted by the nations they had inhabited and brought back pagan gods with them, as well as still worshipping Yahweh as part of their Jewish roots. For this reason, the Jews disowned them and would not associate with Samaritans. The fought over where they should worship the one true God, and this antagonism is the setting for this meeting between Jesus and the woman. I loved one mum’s analogy of it being like the catholics and protestants in Northern Ireland – really helpful for getting our heads around it.
What is going on in her head?
So, into this strange setting is this meeting of two people. My thoughts turned to what would be going on in this woman’s head, and that she actually acts in quite a composed way. She states the situation quite plainly, giving Jesus a get out clause. In her head perhaps she is confused – there is absolutely no reason for this man to be talking to her, and even his need for a drink wouldn’t be a good enough reason for most Jews. Others in the Facebook Group said that perhaps she was suspicious, wondering what he really wanted from her. Maybe fear was thrown in there too – she sounds quite isolated at the well with everyone else avoiding her. I think she would have been surprised too. It is clear that even her own people don’t want to socialise with her so the shock of a Jew being the one to break the ice would be huge.
I loved the way one mum talked about social anxiety – something that a lot of us suffer from. Where we analyse and try to figure out what is a person wants when they come to talk to us. I’m sometimes like that, and it can make your mind run circles around you without there being a need to! Instead of trying to figure out what is going on, maybe we should take each interaction as it comes and just see what happens. Our minds always jump to negative things, and I’m sure the Samaritan woman here was thinking “does he want to kill me, rape me, something worse?”, but in jumping to those conclusions she could almost miss the love and warmth that Jesus brings. What are we missing from those we meet by jumping to conclusions? What can they bring into our lives that is missing?
We move further into this woman’s story and life next week, and I am excited to learn a bit more about her than just her nationality! Please join me in meditating and thinking on the following verse:
“The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband.” John 4:15-17
Do join me at 9pm on Monday night for a Facebook Live discussion to start off the week! I’d love to know what you are taking away from this week’s verse too.
Happy Sunday everyone! We’ve had a fortnight break from our weekly meditation verses, and I hope you are all joining me refreshed and ready to dig deeper into the bible together. This new series will last ten weeks and take us right up to Christmas…
Happy Sunday Mummy Meditators!!
I hope and pray that you’ve had a good week. How is this season of motherhood treating you?? Are you happy to be back into routine, or are you mum to a newborn where things don’t really change from day to day?
How would you react if something happened to your only child? Well that’s what the Shunamite Woman is reacting to in the story we’ve been looking at for the last few weeks, and this week is no exception. We were pondering the following verse together:
“When she reached the man of God at the mountain, she took hold of his feet. Gehazi came over to push her away, but the man of God said, “Leave her alone! She is in bitter distress, but the Lord has hidden it from me and has not told me why.” “Did I ask you for a son, my lord?” she said. “Didn’t I tell you, ‘Don’t raise my hopes’?” 2 Kings 4:27-28
Going on autopilot
In the verses between last week’s verse and this week’s one, the Shunamite Woman goes on her journey to speak to Elisha (the man of God). She lies again to Gehazi, saying everything is all right (even when he asks her outright how the child is!), knowing that he’ll try to stop her from getting to Elisha. Thinking about the order of these events and the way she goes about things makes me feel like she is on autopilot – the way you deal with things because your body kind of kicks in and does it, rather that you really being in control. Like when your child hurts themselves at the park and you automatically run over and know what to do to fix it. Or that way you run if you see your child about to fall down the stairs. I’m not 100% sure this woman is processing everything, instead she is on autopilot, following through the plan to make everything right again. Have you ever experienced that? When you come out the other side its a very odd feeling, when you realise how you coped and dealt with it all without really thinking.
Willing to do what is needed
We’ve already witnessed that this mum is happy to hide the truth for the sake of bringing her son back to life. This week, she lies outright and then falls at Elisha’s feet. What is the significance of this one little detail from this week’s verse? I’ve been thinking about that all week. We know that it was feet that were washed most often because they were the part of the body that got dusty and dirty from walking and daily life. So they wouldn’t have been the nicest part of someone’s body to be close to. It was seen as a mark of reverence to fall at someones feet, to show them you know they are more important than you, that you are willing to put yourself below the dirtiest part of them. She already respected and revered Elisha, knowing he was connected to God in some way, so this act is perhaps towards both Elisha and God – showing that she reveres them and needs their help.
I first subtitled this section as “willing to do anything”, but I don’t think that’s right – I think this woman is willing to lie and fall at people’s feet, but only the right feet, the ones that belong to Elisha, the ones that God is working through. Let us remember that we should be willing to do what is needed to see through God’s plans in our lives.
Fierce like only a mother can be
This woman didn’t JUST fall at Elisha’s feet. No, the image is very graphic here that she “took hold of” his feet, and doesn’t look like shes going to let go until she gets the answer she wants!! Her replies to Elisha are also feisty and full of meaning – she is essentially saying “you got me into this mess, you are going to get me out!”. In a world where her husband sent the sick son back to her and didn’t even ask how he was, this mother is fighting for her child, probably harder than she has fought for anything before. Because that’s what mums do. We have this thing inside us, maybe its the connection from those 9 months that those babies grew inside us, that they become part of us that we HAVE to protect. Them being in danger brings out something primal in us, and here the Shunamite Woman is channelling that fierceness to make sure she gets the answer she needs.
Unnamed but included
I am so happy that this woman has been included in the bible. Her story of motherhood is very inspiring, showing us that its OK to fight for and protect our children, that we should know where to turn to when things go wrong (God!) and that hospitality can lead to relationships that might benefit us in the future. Her extravagant hospitality meant that she actually had a relationship with Elisha so that Gehazi let her past to see him when she was in distress. If she hadn’t had that, then she wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near, and her son would probably have remained dead. You never know what hospitality will lead to, so pursue it whenever you can.
It’s our last week in this part of the “Hello My Name Is” series and looking at the Shunamite Woman. We will then have a week’s break before the last ten week series which will take us up to Christmas! I hope you’ve enjoyed looking at some more unnamed women in the bible. For our last week, we will be meditating on this verse, the finale of the story….
“Elisha summoned Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite.” And he did. When she came, he said, “Take your son.” She came in, fell at his feet and bowed to the ground. Then she took her son and went out.” 2 Kings 4:36-37
Join Philippa, our amazing Mummy Meditations Champion, for the last Facebook live discussion of the series at 9pm tomorrow night over in the Facebook Group, and share your thoughts of the whole story.
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