Bible study 23rd March led by Rev Suzanne Nockels

I thirst” (John 19:28)

Read Psalm 63:1-5

It has made me smile that one of the things that people miss most about the worship isn’t the lack of singing but the fact that we cannot have a cup of tea afterwards. At first, I got a bit irritated because I thought it showed that Church was just a social club but now, I realise that we thirst for human company as much as a good brew. We need things from each other.

At the beginning of his ministry Jesus asks the Samaritan woman at the well for a drink and upon the cross he also thirsts. The Son of God has human needs and asks us to meet those needs. He also thirsts for our love. We tend to think first of our need of Jesus, but Jesus loves, desires and thirsts for us far more than we do for him.

  1. Are you happier being a receiver or a giver (being thirsty or relieving thirst)? Why? What about with Jesus? If this refers to the last para, the thought God is always there for me is very satisfying. Like everyone though it would be great to have definite knowledge our prayers may be answered. I would not think I can give God anything other than service as a disciple.

If on a personal level I’m happy in my own company neither really but contacting people thro covid has been rewarding. Giving them someone different to talk to.

What do we talk about? Conversation can lead to discovery of new things or more about a person

Receiver can say no. Is it a weakness?

Create space fr the listening ear.

Domination can stop growth

Does giving mean otherwise it doesnt get done. Is this an ego thing?

Hymns rarely speak of what we give God

Can we learn to be more thirsty?

  1. What do you think Jesus might thirst for from us?

Loyalty and the great commission. Is it a sign of weakness

Just a presence – is it a two way relationship

We have thirsts too. We might thirst for a bit more money, companionship or acclaim. We should not be embarrassed by our ‘thirsts’ but bring them to Jesus. Meet him by our spiritual wells in prayer. Only them might we find that our deeper thirsts are really about security, purpose and affirmation. Things that can only be satisfied in Jesus. We might even learn to be thirsty for more of God and more of the kingdom. Desire isn’t wrong it often just gets misplaced.

  1. What are you thirsty for more of with God? In line with what Natasha said earlier More two way conversations in prayer. More of a human relationship

Are we seeing the signs – how do we become more aware

It is finished’ (John 19:30)

When he had received the drink, Jesus said, It is finished.”With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit”.

A better translation for ‘finished’ is completed or perfected.

  1. What was the last task that you completed? Sorting out my pension and car insurance, & booking the safeguarding training How did you feel? Relief Another job off the list

Often left hanging jobs like sharig gospel or Area work or church work. Worse when one job leads to another.

  1. Is there something you think you perfected? No, jack of all trades master of none.

I think we often dream of completion and perfection, but it rarely happens. We might dream of the perfect Church or the perfect marriage but both are made up of human beings who make mistakes, snore or have other irritating habits. Do we give up? Do we become cynical? Here upon the cross is complete, perfect love.

We may not like some things the person we love does but is that what love is

Wait a minute. The cross is not beautiful or sheer happiness so how on earth is it perfection? Strangely, it is because Jesus does not expect completeness or perfection from us just our true selves. Perfect love does not demand perfection of the other.

Father into your hands I commend my spirit’ (Luke 23:46)

Read Luke 23:44-45

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon,45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

  1. Have you ever had to trust your life to someone else? Yes I suppose when I broke my pelvis and had major operation

The last word is addressed to God. It is a supreme act of trust. We are anxious about our health, jobs and future despite living at a time in the West when we have better medicines and social security provision (although it’s still not as good as it could be). We are mistrustful of people in authority and those in positions of care with the result that we try to carry everything in our own hands. We try to control things and of course we can’t….especially not death.

I had a friend who liked to say “Don’t worry. It probably will not happen”. I once challenged him by saying “Mike, I prefer ‘Don’t worry. It probably will happen but it will not be the end of the world’. In some ways the worst for the Christian has already happened; the sun darkened, the holy of holies was ripped open, the tombs erupted- horror movie, apocalyptic stuff that the prophets spoke about. The Son of God died………and then there was Easter Sunday.

In the end, the last word is that we cannot carry and control it all. We have to trust ourselves to God. Can we start now rather than just at the end of our lives? Maybe our trust now is a rehearsal for what will come?

  1. Is there something we need to place into God’s hands? Church issues

Prayer before or after placing in God’s hands

Does a church dying lead to new worship group? Do they move into other congregation?

Are we merely custodian? Have we let our predecessors down. Massive secularisation with a bigger gap between secular and religious life?

Gospel not changed. Language may have. Are we still relevant by not speaking the language?

Should 80 year olds have to struggle with this. Has Covid knocked us off this trajectory.

If we hadnt opened would we have carriwed on as before coivid. Need to think about it

do the communties now want more, have they moved to a religious stance.

Does faith come before church?

Prayer

Lord Jesus,

Thank you that your final words still speak to us from the cross.

In thirsting you show us that there is no shame in desire.

Help us desire you Jesus in the way you desire us.

In completing your mission you show us that perfect love accepts imperfection.

Help us love unselfishly and generously and not demand perfection first.

In placing your Spirit into your Father’s hands, you show how to trust.

Amen.

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