Devotion from Pastor Charlie 

March 13, 2017

Thirsty Jesus
During Lent I find it spiritually beneficial to meditate on Jesus in his humanity.
God joins life here on earth, walking among us as the Man of Nazareth, ministering to us in every struggle, sharing our hope and our suffering, with power to heal, revealing God's essence in the most deeply human reality of love.
Jesus in his humanity. Think of that episode in the fourth chapter of John, when Jesus travels through Samaria, stops at a famous well, asks a Samaritan woman for a cup of water. He's thirsty. The woman is amazed that a Jewish man would even speak to her. It was unheard of on two counts, gender restriction and ethnic separation. But Jesus was thirsty. Further, he was becoming known for breaking down traditional barriers. Human need is the same everywhere.
This isn't the only time in John's gospel that Jesus is thirsty. Hoisted on the cross, after the ordeal of the late-night arrest and hasty trial, enduring physical beatings and humiliation, exposed to the hot sun, he pants, "I am thirsty" (19:28). Jesus in his humanity, embracing humanity's desperation, God joined with life on earth to the point of death at its most excruciating.
God meets us in this thirsty Jesus. And this is where you can meet God. In a well-known parable, Jesus tells how he will welcome the faithful at the throne of heaven. "I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink." Whatever you did
to help "the least of these" in time of need, "you did it for me" (Matthew 25:31ff).
So what about you? Jesus offers this invitation: "Let anyone who is thirsty come to me . . ." (John 7:37). Do you want his eternal blessing? Here's what he preached in the Sermon on the Mount: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness" (Matthew 5:6).

Charles Hambrick-Stowe
The First Congregational Church of Ridgefield, Connecticut