Throughout Scripture and today, God sustains God’s people in the most basic of human ways – physically, with food and drink, and spiritually – with food and drink for our souls.
This Lent, as we remember what it means to be human, we find refreshment from God’s fountain of grace. The different images of cups shown in Scripture will serve as a touchpoint for exploring aspects of our relationship with God. What does our brokenness say about us? What does discipleship look like? How can we drink from the cup of living water? Which cup will you choose? This exploration culminates in the most exciting celebration of all – that Jesus is risen for us and we have new life in him!
The season of Lent begins with Ash Wednesday as a day to remember our humanity and begin a period of repentance – a turning away from sin and evil – in preparation for the joy of Easter. It is a moment for us to reflect on Jesus’ suffering. Commonly, people will practice fasting in Lent or “giving something up” for Lent. The purpose is to engage our whole bodies in repentance – turning away from sin and toward God – remembering that we are human creatures with human needs.
When things break, God can and will bring purpose and beauty out of the brokenness. The fragility and brokenness of our humanity are mirrored in Jesus’ suffering on the cross. In the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, we see that God works through what is broken. In our suffering, Jesus is with us. But Jesus was also raised from the dead, overcoming suffering.
God affirms all we’ve been through and invites us into healthy relationship, wholeness, and sharing living water with others. Feeling connected and valued is an important part of human wellbeing and it is something that Jesus shows us he cares about by truly seeing us and empowering us to share the life that he has given us with others.
We all have a choice in who or what we follow in life. To live a Christian life involves choosing to follow Jesus. Every day we have the opportunity to choose to follow Jesus. For some of us, that choice was/is easy, for others it was/is hard. The first time we made that choice may have been long ago or just recently. Or maybe we are considering this choice and wondering what it means, involves, or asks of us.
Being followers of Jesus involves giving our whole selves to build a community of mutual blessing. In many cultures, great emphasis is placed on being the first, the greatest, or the best – whether that’s in terms of wealth, reputation, status, talent, etc. Jesus emphasizes the importance of serving others and humility and essentially proclaims a reversal of this cultural message.
The streets of Jerusalem stir with anticipation: hope mingles with fear as the Messiah comes into view. The question hangs in the air: Will Jesus rule our hearts?
Jesus drinks the cup of suffering once and for all. As Jesus drinks from this unrepeatable cup, we see our efforts to save ourselves fall short and we stand in awe and gratitude.
Jesus is alive! That means God’s grace will never run dry. As human beings, we are all in need of God’s grace, all the time. The amazing news that we celebrate on Easter Sunday is that God’s grace never runs out. Jesus has overcome death, sin, and evil in his resurrection and in doing so, Jesus is the fountain of grace that we can return to again and again when we are thirsty.