Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Dear Faith Family,

It is truly stunning that one of the last things that Jesus said before he died was simply, “I thirst.” Why? What’s the big deal?

As humans, we know instinctively we need water in order to survive. We may not like to drink it or we may rather drink something other than water, but ultimately if one cannot get water into their system, a body will die. Therefore, what Jesus was experiencing in that moment is something every single human being would have experienced had they been hanging on that cross—thirst.

Again, what is the big deal?

Jesus claimed not just to be a special prophet or teacher or healer, but he claimed to be actual living water. He claimed to be the one who could satisfy the deep thirst within a human soul who longed for God but did not know it needed him. In John 7, he told a large gathering of people within the temple walls, “If you are thirsty, come to me!” And yet, on the cross, he called out in his own human thirst. Jesus would suffer his own thirst in order to satisfy our thirst. His suffering and death would be the means by which the living water of forgiveness and grace would flow out and satisfy our needy souls. Through his death, the thirsty one, would become the source of life for our thirsty souls. 

This week our BibleProject study is entitled “Water of Life”. Below you will find the link to the video and some discussion questions that help us to explore this theme in the Bible. You do not have to go through all of the passages and questions. You can just choose one option for study. If you are a part of a Sunday School Class or Life Group, consider finding a way to connect online all together or in smaller groups or pairs. If you are not in a class or group, contact a friend and see if they would be interested in joining you in a discussion of this theme. Let me know if you need help getting connected. It’s not too late to start! Hope you are thirsty!

Here is this week's “Water of Life.”  video.
Discussion Questions

Scripture Reading Option One: Jeremiah 2:1-13
Jeremiah accuses the Israelites of trusting in false gods and false sources of life, depicted as broken cisterns that don’t hold water well (and ultimately can’t give them what they need).
  • Who or what do you turn to when you are anxious and uncertain? What are some powerful self-made sources of stability you tend to trust in your own life?
  • Take a moment to reflect on how all of life is dependent on God’s power and generosity. Does this understanding change how you view those self-made sources of stability? What would it look like for you to choose to trust God’s generosity, rather than your own “broken cisterns”?
Scripture Reading Option Two: Isaiah 43:16-21 & Isaiah 44:1-5
In the past, God delivered his people by the Exodus through the sea and then provided water in the wilderness. The “new thing” God will do to deliver his people is to provide a better water in the wilderness—his own Spirit—which will allow people to truly flourish.
  • In what ways do you resonate with the image of living in a dry and desolate desert? What kind of “water” or relief do you find yourself longing for?
  • Is your current connection with God satisfying to you? Set aside some time to share your feelings about your current circumstances with God or trusted others.
Scripture Reading Option Three: John 4:1-26 & John 7:37-39
Jesus tells the Samaritan woman that the well water gives short-term life that cannot ultimately quench our thirst. He is offering water that never runs dry and generates eternal life. In John 7 we find out that this water is the Spirit.
  • What are the places in your life where nothing seems to satisfy or quench your thirst? What do you think it would look like for God’s Spirit to be like living water in those areas of your life?
  • How does it affect you to know that Jesus is offering water that never runs dry––eternal life in the Spirit?

Enjoy your study this week!

Doug Ashley
Pastor - Longview EPC