SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 55:1 (TM) – larger reading Isaiah 55
"Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway - buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money - everything's free!
C.S. Lewis "The Chronicles of Narnia" - "Are you not thirsty?" said the lion. "I’m dying of thirst," said Jill. "Then drink," said the lion. "May I- could I- would you mind going away while I do?" said Jill. The lion answered this only by a look and very low growl. As Jill gazed at its motionless bulk, she realized that she might as well have asked the whole mountain to move aside for her convenience. The delicious rippling noise of the stream was driving her nearly frantic. "Will you promise not to do anything to me, if I do come?" said Jill. "I make no such promise," said the lion. Jill was so thirsty now that, without noticing it, she had come a step nearer the lion. "Do you eat girls?" she said. "I have swallowed up, consumed girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms," said the lion. It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry. It just said it. "I daren’t come and drink," said Jill. "Then you will die of thirst," said the Lion. "Oh dear!" said Jill, coming another step nearer. "I suppose I must go and look for another stream then." The lion said, "There is no other stream."
Lent is a good time to address that inner thirst that consumes our attention. We’ve tried all other means available to quench its presence. Our desire is to do it our way, which we assume is more pleasing. Eventually we cannot ignore that there is only one source of “water” for our soul.
It is there for the taking if we will only … that’s the rub: if we will only. Jill desired the water, but we, like Jill, would much prefer not to do it in the presence of God. Surely there is another way. Another source. Another alternative. Surely – even in the face of the great offering from God that it is free. There has got to be strings attached. Surely there’s a catch. What is God’s angle? But the thirst, the soul draining thirst, is all consuming.
Lent brings us into God’s presence like no other time in our spiritual journey. It is a fearful experience, but our thirst is laid out before us. We cannot ignore it any longer. Eventually it dawns on us that there is only one stream that dispels our deep longing for our thirsty soul.
Easter comes and we drink!
Our thirst consumes us. Our throats are drier than the desert. Our soul longs for life giving water. Please give us that water.