“I Thirst”…Preached as a part of the Seven Last Words of Christ on April 14, 2017

When one submits her or his spirit to God, a new creature is born.  The old has passed and the new has come…new life…new birth.  With this conversion, one’s priorities change.

For the life surrendered to the Spirit of God, there is no greater priority than obedience to God.  Obedience nurtures and matures faith.  It is the precursor to courage which enables one to fight, fight and fight.

Jesus is the perfect illustration of obedience.  Denying his privileges, pleasures, preferences and rights, He chose the Father’s will that He would offer Himself a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice for our sins.  His journey in obedience would end in his enthronement as Lord of Lords and King of Kings, but before His coronation must come His crucifixion.

On the Cross, that altar of sacrifice, Jesus’ body and soul would journey to places he had never known.  He had seen death, but He had not experienced it.  He had seen abandoned people, but He had not known abandonment.  He had ministered to people who felt emptiness and whose souls thirsted for significance and hope, but He had not known this thirst.  Never before had He lived without feeling the refreshing flow of Holy Spirit.  But now, obediently bearing the sins of the world upon His own soul He is worn, wearied, troubled, fatigued and famished.  His parched soul utters the words, I thirst.

What thirst is this that brings such anguish to the Son of God?

What race is this that before crossing the finish line, the master of heaven and earth has suffered so much that He says, “I thirst.”  Thirst is a response to the need for what one cannot live without.  Just as our bodies cannot live without water, neither can our souls live without the Spirit of God.

In response to Christ’s words, “I thirst,” one of the soldiers , a man of this world of sin and oppression offered our Savior vinegar, perhaps to taunt and further Jesus’ suffering.  The world rewards godliness with persecution.  But, Jesus’ words were also a prayer that His Father in heaven heard and I believe He allowed Jesus to again feel the refreshing flow of His Holy Spirit.

Our Savior would not be overcome by thirst.  Nothing would separate Him from victory.

Support Goria Dei Lutheran

 

When we first heard of the tragic fire that ripped through the Gloria Dei building, our first concerns were for the well-being of the people who worship there and those who depend upon it as a refuge. As I drove from the Twin Cities with Mary, I wondered what I would see upon arrival.  I prayed and thought about what the congregation was dealing with.  It did not take long, though, for me to move back into focusing on my own responsibilities for the evening in Duluth.   When my day’s work was done, my thoughts returned to Gloria Dei, and I again wondered about their future.

The Spirit of God corrected me.  Neither the future nor the present belong to Gloria Dei alone.  All followers of Jesus Christ, especially those of our community, share these moments and days.  The future should emerge as the product of what we do together as one body.  A part of the body is wounded and we are all affected.  A part is in need and we are called and equipped in Christ to bring healing and restoration.

Each of us has good to give. Let us give what we have that is needed and we will see the Lord move miraculously in His Body.

Here’s a link to Gloria Dei’s website where you will be able to check in for information concerning ways to support. Gloria Dei’s website

Rev. Richard H. Coleman