Josh Groban tells a great story about being invited to sing a duet with Celion Deon at the 1998 Grammy Awards rehearsals. Andrea Bocelli was delayed in travel and couldn’t make it to LA in time for the rehearsal. The producer David Foster called the 17 year-old Groban, a high schooler at the time, to see if he would step in and sing with Celion.
Groban told him no.
As Groban explained, he was a little intimidated by the offer and told Foster that he was busy and had a big social studies test to study for and so couldn’t sing at the Grammys. Needless to say after a second phone call and discussion with his parents, Groban said yes, and the rest is history. Have you ever said no when faced with a dream offer?
In the gospels this week we read the familiar story of Jesus and the woman at the well. Throughout the first several lines of dialogue the woman gives reason after reason why Jesus shouldn’t be speaking with her. She, or her culture, set up barrier after barrier to connecting with Jesus. We can almost hear her say, “Jesus, it’s not you; it’s me. We can’t be friends.”
Yet, Jesus, after each objection is stated turn back to her. Jesus doesn’t give up. He continues to engage her in conversation until finally he reveals to her that he is the Messiah, the Christ, the chosen one that she, her village, and all people are waiting for. At the heart of the matter Jesus reveals himself completely to her.
I think often we put up barriers to letting Jesus know us. I think we say things like “I’m not a church person,” or “I’m only human, I could never be a saint.” It’s as if we are being offered the best gift ever, the opportunity of a life time, everything we could ever want, but come up with some reason to say no. It’s almost as if we talk ourselves out of happiness.
Jesus never gives up.
No matter how many times we’ve said no – no matter how often we’ve denied God’s invitation – No matter how far away we feel from Jesus right now, Jesus is always pursuing us and ready for when we to turn to him.
Could today be the day we stop resisting and let God love us without condition?
Make a list of all the things that keep you from being closer to Jesus. How many of them can you control or get rid of or cross off your list? Do it today.