Sermon from Christmas I: Everyone Who Is Thirsty

Everyone Who Is Thirsty
Christmas I; December 27, 2020
Revelation 22:12-17, 20-21

The Sunday following Christmas Day I always do something different. Sometimes I read poetry, sometimes we sing carols. This year I am stringing together various readings from Scripture, following a theme. The sources are noted, but were not said during the reading of the sermon.

As the earth brings forth its shoots,
And as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.                                                                           Isaiah 61:11

Oh LORD, you make springs gush forth in the valleys;
They flow between the hills,
Giving drink to every wild animal;
The wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams the birds of the air have their habitation;
They sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.                                             Psalm 104:10-13

There were some who wandered in desert wastes,
Finding no way to an inhabited town;
Hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble,
And the LORD delivered them from their distress;
God led them by a straight way,
Until they reached an inhabited town.
Let them thank the LORD for such steadfast love,
For God’s wonderful works to humankind.
For the LORD satisfies the thirsty,
And fills the hungry with good things.                                                                  Psalm 107:4-9

The whole congregation of the Israelites journeyed by stages, as the LORD commanded.
They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink.
The people quarreled with Moses, and said, “Give us water to drink.”
Moses said to them, “Why do you quarrel with me? Why do you test the LORD?”
But the people thirsted there for water;
And the people complained against Moses and said,
“Why did you bring us out of Egypt,
To kill us and our children and livestock with thirst?”                                         Exodus 17:1-3

They did not thirst when the LORD led them through the deserts;
God made water flow for them from the rock;
The Lord split open the rock and the water gushed out.                                          Isaiah 48:21

Ah, you who rise early in the morning in pursuit of strong drink,
Who linger in the evening to be inflamed by wine,
Whose feasts consist of lyre and harp,
Tambourine and flute and wine,
But who do not regard the deeds of the LORD,
Or see the work of God’s hands!
Therefore my people go into exile without knowledge;
Their nobles are dying of hunger,
And their multitude is parched with thirst.                                                            Isaiah 5:11-13

Even the jackals offer the breast and nurse their young,
But my people has become cruel, like the ostriches in the wilderness.
The tongue of the infant sticks to the roof of its mouth for thirst;
The children beg for food, but no one gives them anything.                               Lamentations 4:3-4

The LORD says: Why was no one there when I came?
Why did no one answer when I called?
Is my hand shortened, that it cannot redeem?
Or have I no power to deliver?
By my rebuke I dry up the sea,
I make the rivers a desert;
Their fish stink for lack of water, and die of thirst.
I clothe the heavens with darkness
And make sackcloth their covering.                                                                         Isaiah 50:2-3

Job said: There are those who snatch the orphan child from the breast,
And take as a pledge the infant of the poor.
They go about naked, without clothing;
Though hungry, they carry the sheaves;
Between their terraces they press out oil;
They tread the wine presses, but suffer thirst.
From the city the dying groan,
And the throat of the wounded cries for help;
Yet God pays no attention to their prayer.                                                                Job 24:9-12

You know the insults I receive, and my shame and dishonor;
My foes are all known to you.
Insults have broken my heart, so that I am in despair.
I looked for pity, but there was none;
And for comforters, but I found none.
They gave me poison for food,
And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.                                               Psalm 69:19-21

When Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture),
“I am thirsty.”                                                                                                              John 19:28

The righteous will say to the King:
Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
Or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,
Or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?
And the King will answer them:
Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family,
You did it to me.                                                                                             Matthew 25:37-40

O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you;
My flesh faints for you,
As in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
My soul is satisfied as with a rich feast,
And my mouth praises you with joyful lips
When I think of you on my bed,
And meditate on you in the watches of the night;
For you have been my help,
And in the shadow of your wings I sing for joy.                                                 Psalm 63:1, 5-7

Jesus said: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they will be filled.                                                                                              Matthew 5:6

Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
And the let the one who believes in me drink.
As the scripture has said, “Out of the believer’s heart
Shall flow rivers of living water.”                                                                            John 7:37-38

When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none
And their tongue is parched with thirst,
I the LORD will answer them,
I the God of Israel will not forsake them.
I will open rivers on the bare heights,
And fountains in the midst of the valleys;
I will make the wilderness a pool of water,
And the dry land springs of water.                                                                      Isaiah 41:17-18

The ransomed of the Lord are before the throne of God,
And worship the Lord day and night within the temple,
And the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them.
They will hunger no more, and thirst no more;
The sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat;
For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd,
And he will guide them to springs of the water of life,
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.                                    Revelation 7:15-17

Jesus said to the woman: 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.                                                                                 John 4:13-15

Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you that have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without price.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
And your labor for that which does not satisfy?                                                     Isaiah 55:1-2

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.”
And let everyone who hears say, “Come.”
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift.                                          Revelation 22:17


Robert A. Keefer
Presbyterian Church of the Master
Omaha, Nebraska