life and faith


During the run up to Easter I find myself feeling adrift. I haven’t been well enough (as usual) this year to attend any church services, spend special time with family or friends, nor to engage with all the usual paraphernalia such as buying cards, eggs, flowers, and celebration food.

Even my good intentions over Lent have fallen foul of my frailty.

No observance fully kept, no meditation continued, no readings completed. 

I have failed in every way to observe Easter.

Or have I?

Is it about the special services, the trappings around the edges, or something else?

As I read the biblical accounts of the crucifixion recently, I came to three words that stopped me in my tracks:

“I am thirsty”
Jesus speaks these words in John’s gospel (John 19:28)

In order to address the perceived physical need – unsurprising with outstretched limbs impaled to a cross in the heat of the day – He is offered a sponge soaked in sour wine (vinegar) to sip from. What seems like a generous gesture is both inadequate and insulting.

With thirst left unquenched, the Son of God is made to partake more of humanity’s bitterness and gall as He hangs dying on the cross, poured out like a drink offering for our sake.

This act is preceded by Jesus calling out, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabacthani?” which is translated as “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34 – 36)

Which suggests Jesus had not only an understandable physical thirst, but also an emotional and relational one. For the first time ever, as He took upon Himself the sin of the whole world, His holy, righteous Father could not look upon or be in fellowship with Him. 

Their intimate, loving union and communion was broken. And I think that must have broken Jesus’ heart. I believe He thirsted, even in that relatively short time, for all that He had known before.

Instead of the personal intimacy of ‘Abba, Father’, Jesus now addresses His Father as ‘God’, indicating the temporary loss of what He had always experienced – unending closeness and intimacy.

In taking on humanity’s sin, Jesus endured that painful separation so that we could become reconciled to God and able to be in relationship with Him as our loving heavenly Father.

I have thirsted for many things in my life:approval, great relationships, fulfilment and comfort, good career prospects and material success.

These days, the thing I tend to thirst for most is greater health and strength.

All of the things mentioned above are fleeting and subject to change.

The fundamentals of life we require above all – Acceptance, Love, Security and Safety –  are, however, fully met in relationship with God.

I think of Jesus coming out of the river Jordan after He has been baptised by John, and continue to link Him inextricably with a river of life, hope and faith, that runs through us now by His Spirit.

We see Him offering Living Water to the Samaritan woman in John 4:1 – 26  (you can read the full account by clicking on the link). 

At the start of their conversation, Jesus requests a drink from her as she is at the well drawing water. Do we ever stop to think how Jesus, our Living Water, may thirst now?

Perhaps He is thirsting for:

Our time

Our attention

Our company

Our love

This Easter, as we ponder the deep meaning of the cross, empty tomb and Resurrection Morn, maybe enjoying church and family celebrations, let us take a moment to consider what ways Jesus may be desiring us to be in relationship with Him.

Even if we know Him now.

Even if we follow Him.

Even as we read His word.

Even as we fellowship together.

Is He our main focus?

Is His presence the one thing we are thirsting for above anything else?
A Prayer

Dear Lord, 
We have no difficulty seeing our need of the things you offer us;
Your mercy, grace and forgiveness are what we long for
and our souls require daily watering by Your word and Spirit.
Yet our hearts can fail and quail at the thought of you wanting something in return.
What can we give to You that You do not already possess?
We offer our hearts,
we offer our lives,
we offer our thanksgiving,
adoration, prayer and praise,
service and sentiments.
Then we hear you saying,
“I miss you. Come and be with Me”
“I love you. Come and lean on Me”
“I desire to help and heal you. Come and rest in Me”
“I have much to teach you. Learn from Me”
“I long to hear your voice. Speak with Me”
For in our busyness we can fail to spend time in Your Presence.
Whatever You are saying, Lord,
give us ears to hear,
hearts to respond,
spirits that are willing
and souls that delight to be with You – always.

Points to ponder:

What does Easter symbolise for you?

Is there a way you can make it more meaningful and special?

I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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  1. Lauren - Big Eejit 28th March 2013
    • Joy Lenton 29th March 2013
  2. Helen 1st April 2013
    • Joy Lenton 1st April 2013

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