Saturday, March 30, 2013
meditation - "I am thirsty", part of Seven Last Words Good Friday Service, Suncook United Methodist Church, March 29, 2013
I am thirsty
The last word, “I am thirsty” or “I thirst,” is fit within the context of the John 19:26-30, where three of the Last Words appear.
It is bracketed between John 19:26-27, where Christ said to Mary, “Woman, here is your son,” and to John he said, “Here is your mother.” (Christ, as the oldest son of Mary, binds her with John, to care for her spiritual needs, joining her physical family with the family of Christ’s ministry) and John 19:30, where Christ proclaims “It is finished.”
In between, the Gospel of John tells us:
“Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips.”
This lament, “I am thirsty” is part of the ancient psalm which Christ prayed on the cross. Christ is praying the psalms, even as His people are putting him to death.
Just as last of the words we just heard, “My God, my God, Why have you forsaken me?” is from Psalm 22:1, Christ’s cry for something to drink is the lament of Psalm 22:15, which reads, “My mouth is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death.”
And, the response of the guards, to give him bitter vinegar, is a fulfillment of Psalm 69:21, where it reads, “They put gall in my food and gave me vinegar for my thirst”.
This phrase, I thirst, is a connection with his people, with the ancient psalm, with the struggles of the people of God and through their history and a reminder of the response of the world versus the respond of God to our deepest needs.
Christ fulfills scripture, drinks of the bitterness of the world and prepares for his final words, when “It is Finished”.
How many times have we felt dry, like the dry bones of Ezekiel, in the dust, the desert, the wilderness, surrounded by temptations. We are spiritually dry, feeling lost, alone, as if God has forsaken us.
We turn to the world and the world gives us bitter vinegar, not what God offers.
God give us life-giving water of the word and the wellspring of presence, his Holy Spirit and a life with him in heaven, our reward, if we turn from the world and trust in God and the risen Christ.
We too can drink from that well, just as Christ offered to the Samaritan Woman, if we will but ask.
March 29, 2013
Seven Last Words Service
Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Elisha Burns)
Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Marshall Burns)
Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (Richard Fleury)
My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? (Mark Cioffi)
(Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).
I thirst (Ray Foss)
It is finished (Kathy Akerman)
Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Pastor Ruth Foss)
The Voice of God. . . Mary, The Mother of Jesus
This Lenten Season, we are doing something a little different. We are doing Lenten Dramas from: http://www.sermonsfromseattle.com/home.htm It is called "The Voice of God". We are hearing conversations between God and some of the characters that took part in Passion Week. It has been a "moving experience" for all. . .
February 13 2013 Ash Wednesday – James (portrayed by Diane Mitchell)
February 17, 2013 – Judas (portrayal by Ray Foss)
February 24, 2013 – Peter (portrayal by Marshall Burns)
March 3, 2013 – Pilate (portrayed by Richard Fleury)
March 10, 2013 – Barabbas (portrayed by Mark Cioffi)
March 17, 2013 - Dysmas (Thief on the cross) (portrayed by Ray Foss)
March 24, 2013 Palm Sunday
March 28, 2013 Maundy Thursday – The Centurion (portrayed by Mark Cioffi)
March 29, 2013 Good Friday - Mary Mother of Jesus (portrayed by Kathy Akerman)
March 31, 2013 Easter Sunday! - The Gardner (portrayed by Mary Ann Cioffi)
led by Pastor Ruth Foss
A Handmaiden of the Lord
Suncook United Methodist Church
March 29, 2013