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I Thirst - A Reflection

So, my small contribution to this afternoon's service was this:

I Thirst

Jesus, knowing that all was now complete said, in order to fulfil the scripture, ‘I Thirst’

 

Can we, in our imagination stand alongside Mary, at the foot of the cross, looking up at her son, unable to reach out and comfort him in his suffering…

 

He is exhausted, physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually…

Dehydrated by blood loss and the exertion of carrying the cross out of the city and up the hill…

His mouth and throat dry, incapable of forming spittle, he peels his tongue free from his teeth and utters the words: I thirst.

Of course he does.  Who wouldn’t?

 

Perhaps he drifts in and out of consciousness; maybe there are dreams or hallucinations… I wonder: does he recall – or dream about - another day when he experienced thirst and had no means to obtain refreshment?

Another day when, followers having gone to a nearby town to buy provisions, he sat alone, and strangely powerless beside a well, unable to draw water because he had no bucket…

In the heat of the day, his mouth dry and sticky…

 

A woman approached, and he asked, “will you give me a drink”

And the barrier between men and woman crumbled to dust…

 

She said, “But you are a Jew, and I am a Samaritan”

And the barrier between races and nations crumbled to dust…

 

He said, “Go and fetch your husband”; She said, “I have no husband”

And the stigma of divorce or widowhood, indeed of all martial status or none, crumbled to dust…

 

She said, “I see you are a prophet… and when Messiah comes he will explain all ”

He said, “I am he”

And the barrier between earth and heaven, time and eternity crumbled to dust…

 

And out of the dryness tiny bubbles of water began to emerge

And the bubbles became a trickle,

And the trickle became a fountain

And the woman and the man danced together in the living water…

 

Waking, regaining consciousness, emerging from a reverie,

A thirsty, dying man, hung on a cross, opens his mouth to speak

And the barrier between ‘now’ and ‘not yet’ crumbled to dust…

 

Yet still his cry is heard, echoing through history: “I thirst.” 

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