The Fifth Word: “I am thirsty” (April 4, 2012)

…Opening To…

Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle; of the mighty conflict sing; tell the triumph of the victim, to his cross thy tribute bring. Jesus Christ the world’s Redeemer from that cross now reigns as King. (Venantius Honorius Fortunatus, from The Hymnal 1982)

…Listening In…

After this, knowing that everything was already completed, in order to fulfill the scripture, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar full of sour wine was nearby, so the soldiers soaked a sponge in it, placed it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. (John 19:28-29; context)

…Filling Up…

For the last seven devos of Lent: last week and during this Holy Week, we are encountering Christ’s seven last words from the cross. These “words” are actually full sentences, and there are three in Luke, three in John, and Matthew and Mark share one, as well (though with a slight variation). For each of the words, I have written a song; now, the songs may or may not include the sayings themselves. Rather, think of them as my response to Jesus speaking out from the cross, a place of vulnerability, shame, and torment – that Jesus turned into a place of majesty, love, and salvation.

For each song, I gave myself no more than two hours to write and one hour to record it. These are by no means polished songs; they are the responses of my heart to Christ crucified. I hope that they enrich you on your Holy Week journey as they have enriched me. What follows is “The Well is Deep,” my response to Jesus’ fourth word from the cross.

(If you can’t see the music player, download the song here.)

As the deer longs for the water-brooks
So my soul longs after you.
My spirit is athirst for God,
Athirst for all that’s good and true.

But I have no bucket and the well is deep:
I see the water down below
Could life eternal gush up like a spring
The well begin to overflow?

The desert is a place of emptiness,
But God makes it a place of springs.
The sand will be afire with blossoms;
The desert shall rejoice and sing.

But I have no bucket and the well is deep:
I see the water down below
Could life eternal gush up like a spring
And the well begin to overflow?

From the throne of God a river flows,
Bright as crystal, fresh as birth.
The river waters trees of healing;
God rain grace upon the earth.

Now I know I need no bucket though the well is deep,
And though the water’s far below.
For life eternal gushes like a spring.
The well will always overflow.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of all refreshment and renewal. Help me ever to drink from your love, that I may remain nourished by your grace and ready to serve. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, kneeling at the foot of the cross and feeling Christ’s arms of love reaching out to embrace the whole world.

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