(I am reading Cross Shattered Christ by Stanley Hauerwas for the next seven days of lent. One chapter a day, one blog post a day.)
I thirst – John 19:28
Why out of all the physical abuse on the cross, is thirst singled out? – P73
the thirst is linked to Israels thirst and for the end of her abandonment. It’s also linked to a central theme of Johns gospel, the woman at the well anyone. the idea of thirsting seems at odds with the Jesus of the woman at the well who claims to be the living water. Hauerwas points out that we want to see a human side in jesus, we want to see the thirst Jesus to see he had a normal human side to him. the I am the living water Jesus just seems too beyond being human.
The author points us towards the incarnation. not the incarnation as a set of beliefs, but as the naming of a theological mystery. Rowan Williams get quoted, stating that incarnation and trinity are “a space for radical change in how we think of ourselves and how we act -p76” Hauerwas ties up the “I thirst” word with the idea of the cup which Jesus asks to be removed from him in the garden. It’s a link I had never made but one I think is important. also so obvious I wonder why I had never made the link before.
He finishes with a thologising about the role of thirsting within the trinity. the role of thirsting as a outworking of love, describing Gods love for us as thirsting after us. which results is us thirsting for the world to know it has been redeemed, we are refreshed though Communion, and we show that God has not abandoned us. And if we “care for those who thirst for God’s kingdom, the kingdom will be present. – p78”
Surely that is why our most determinative response to those who ask how we can ever come to worship this Jesus is to simply ask, “Do you not need to eat and drink?” – P77