Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”
Wednesday’s Message for Lent Wednesday, March 3, 2021
As I reflect on our desire and need for a relationship with God, it occurs to me that we oftentimes do not even realize what it is we are longing for. Perhaps we are going through life—working hard, caring for family, doing kind and generous things, attending church—but we still have a feeling of emptiness or loneliness that doesn’t make sense. Material things don’t fill the gap. More activities don’t bring relief. There just seems to be something missing, and we can’t put our finger on it. And then it dawns on us: “I need to know God in a deeper way than I ever have before.” We’re in good company when we have this revelation. David—yes, the famous King David from Biblical times—has walked this road before us. In Psalm 63, he puts it this way:
“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. I will be fully satisfied as with the richest foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you.” --Psalm 63:1-5
It was at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount, in the Beatitudes, that Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” This idea of longing for God in such a way that it is described as “hungering and thirsting” is evident throughout the Bible. It was true for the Israelites in exile in the desert; it was true for Moses and Joshua as they led the people of God to the promised land; it was true for King David; it was true for the disciples of Jesus; it was true for the Apostle Paul; it was true for the woman at the well; it was true for Zacchaeus, who climbed a tree to getter a better view of Jesus; it was true for the demon-possessed man in the tombs; and it was true for those who lined the road with palm branches as Jesus made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. All of them hungered and thirsted for greater righteousness. During this season of Lent, let us rejoice that we actually have knowledge of what can fulfill that hunger and thirst. It is our relationship with Jesus Christ. And he came into our lives with love abounding, hoping that we will love him in return. The season is upon us!