Thursday, 24 March 2016

I Thirst

They gave me poison for food, and for my thirst they gave me vinegar.
Psalm 69:21

Our words come back to haunt us. Even for Jesus. One day, walking through Samaria he met a woman, an outcast, sitting by the well outside of the village to which she both belonged and did not belong. He told her that whoever drank the water that he had to give would never be thirsty. And now, a few years later, an outcast himself, nailed to a cross outside the city to which he both belonged and did not belong he cries "I am thirsty. "

For me this is the bleakest moment in a bleak event. This is the time when Jesus doubts everything he has taught and everything he has done. This is, after all that has been heaped on him, his moment of utter desolation and weakness. Here is the ending of all plans and all ambitions.

And here's another irony: at the last supper Jesus says, or so Luke tells us, that he will never drink of the fruit of the vine again until the Kingdom of God comes. And now, beside the cross there is a jar full of sour wine, not fit even for the pigs, but fit enough for men on crosses. Using hyssop, the shrub used ceremonially in the temple, some is raised to Jesus' mouth and he drinks it.

The Kingdom of God has come. Here: in the ending of all plans and all ambitions. Here in the final putting aside of all that stands between us and Love, which is never absent, and whose immeasurable power is, in this surrender, revealed.  

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