I’ll say a phrase and you say the first thing that comes to your mind. Ready? Here’s the phrase.....…THE WELL. What do you think of? What comes to your mind? Anything exciting or earth-shattering? My guess is that the answer is probably no, but there is one lady I know who is filled with emotion whenever she hears that phrase. To her, THE WELL is much more than a big hole in the ground filled with water. To her, THE WELL is the place that her life was changed forever.
Who is that lady? She is the lady written about in the New Testament, John 4, commonly known as the Samaritan Woman. To her, THE WELL is an ordinary place that took on extraordinary meaning and significance through her encounter there with a Man called Jesus.
She showed up at THE WELL one way, but she left a completely different way – completely transformed on the inside and the outside. Her life took on new meaning ever since that day at THE WELL and that’s why to her, THE WELL is the most important place on earth. It’s the place where she met Jesus and her life was changed forever.
Because of that, when we wanted to come up with a name for our post-Liturgy Sunday meeting at STSA - the weekly event that we use as a chance to invite our friends to come to church and hopefully meet Jesus there - we decided to name it THE WELL.
Kinda catchy isn’t it? Not only do I like the name because it’s catchy/marketable, I like it more so because it perfectly represents what we hope to do at STSA and what we believe we are called to be.
What was THE WELL for the Samaritan woman?
It wasn't anything special or sacred. It was an ordinary place in the middle of the world she lived in. It was a place she had probably gone to or walked by every single day of her life. On its own, it wasn’t anything. It was just “the well.”
But soon Jesus shows up on the scene and things changed. All of a sudden, the ordinary becomes extraordinary and the common becomes sacred. The very place that this woman had lived by and walked by her entire life became holy ground where her life was transformed and changed forever.
That is who we are at STSA. When we opened the church back in May 2012, we held our first Sunday services in a Hilton hotel ballroom. On one side, we were connected to a busy metro station and on the other side to one of the largest malls in the area (it was the first time I’ve ever had to walk by a Victoria’s Secret to get to church on a Sunday morning!).
And on top of all that, the ballroom that we were worshipping in for our first Sunday morning (May 6, 2012) was the sight of a very interesting and rambunctious celebration the night before – May 5, aka CINCO DE MAYO! That's about as non-sacred as you can get!
But that’s ok with us. That’s how we want it. The goal of THE WELL is to be for people in Arlington today was that well was for the Samaritan woman 2000 years ago – an ordinary place where people meet Jesus and their lives are changed forever.
Just as it was for the Samaritan woman, we want THE WELL to be a place of healing…a place of revival… a place of refreshment… a place of fresh starts… and a place of transformation.
How will we do that? Simple. It's not so much about what we do; it’s about Who is there to do it with us. As long as Jesus shows up at THE WELL, transformation will happen… healing will happen… revival and refreshment will happen. Our goal isn’t to get people to come to the church or come to a meeting; our goal is to get people to THE WELL to meet with Jesus and once He’s there and they’re there, that’s when all the good stuff takes place.
And just like the Samaritan woman left that encounter with Jesus as a completely new person and then transformed her entire city - in other words, an entire city was transformed by this encounter at the well - I fully expect that THE WELL @STSA will have the same impact on the DC Metro area. THE WELL is an ordinary place that takes on extraordinary meaning through our encounter with Jesus while we're there.
For discussion: now what do you think of when I say "THE WELL"?