Obey Your Thirst!

It is a well-known fact that I do not care for the month of August-- too hot.  But at least we expect that.  My least favorite month of the year is September, even though it marks the beginning of football season and the opening of the State Fair of Texas.  Every day in September, and sometimes several times each day, I look up the 10-day forecast, expecting to see that first cold front on the horizon.  And every day I am disappointed.  I am in need of refreshment from hot weather!

You know what it feels like to need refreshment-- that cold drink after yard work; that well-deserved vacation; the laughter of children after a stressful day.  We have that sense of being parched-- needing something that is not quite there-- and when the need is fulfilled all we can express is, "Aaaaaagh!"  Do you remember the old iced tea commercials of people falling backward into a pool?  That's what I mean.  Refreshment.

Thirst comes in physical, spiritual, and emotional forms.  The physical part is fairly easy to address.  Go to the nearest water fountain.  The others are more difficult.  Sometimes we feel thirsty but do not know where to go.  For Christians, Jesus is the ultimate source of refreshment!  Read the scripture below: the story of Jesus offering the woman a drink of living water.  Not the stuff from her well, but real, everlasting refreshment through relationship with him.  The beginning of that relationship involves water-- our baptism-- but after that moment how do we satisfy our thirst for God?

The best way is by regular worship attendance.  We come to worship not because we want to hear great music or preaching, and not because we want to see friends and make relationships.  All of those things flow from the source of living water-- a relationship with Jesus.  We come to worship to give thanks to God for the life-saving, life-changing grace we have received-- real refreshment.  We come to empty ourselves in praise so that God will fill us up again.  As Psalm 23 says, "My cup overflows!"  This is why regular, weekly worship attendance is vital to spiritual growth.  When we only drink for the water of God every now and then we become more and more parched.

This Sunday we'll begin an exciting new sermon series called "Who Do You Say That I AM?" the question Jesus asked the disciples.  If we do not know who Jesus is, how can he fill us with love and grace?  The series will be based on the "I AM" sayings of Jesus found in the Gospel of John.  Here's an outline:

September 19: "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life."
September 26: "I am the Good Shepherd."
October 3: "I am the Bread of Life."
October 10: "I am the Light of the World."
October 17: "I am the Vine, you are the branches."
October 31: "I am the Resurrection and the Life."
Sprite had a great slogan a few years ago: "Obey your thirst."  Let's make a commitment to do just that over the next six weeks.  Obey your thirst for Jesus.  Admit that like the woman at the well, you too are thirsting for something.  Maybe you've tried more that a few ways to quench that thirst but nothing has quite worked yet.  Commit to attend worship every Sunday through October and hear the comforting, challenging, life giving and saving words of Jesus as he tells us who he is-- and invites us to deeper, more meaningful relationship with him.  Obey your thirst!  By the end of October we should have welcomed that first cold front to Prosper.  If not, I'll be in real need of refreshment!

See you Sunday.  And next Sunday.  And the one after that.  And...

Jesus came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.  A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, 'Give me a drink'. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, 'How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?' (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, "Give me a drink", you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?' Jesus said to her, 'Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.' The woman said to him, 'Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.'