What have you been hungry for over the holidays?
It may be hungry for honey baked ham and mashed potatoes, Christmas cookies, or some good chips and dips for New Year’s Eve. No, not that kind of hunger.
Hungry for the magic of Christmas, for family and friends to be together? Yes, but there’s more.
In John 6:35, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Ok, so we need to hunger and thirst for God. But that doesn’t really come naturally. Our culture is so scattered, immediate, and saturated with media, information, and technology that it is hard to hunger for something abstract like God.
But Jesus just doesn’t offer water to quench our physical thirst, like after running a race. Jesus just doesn’t offer bread to fill our stomachs at the end of a long work day. Jesus is the living water; Jesus is the bread of life. It is a spiritual reality, a miracle that we can relate to the living God in Jesus.
This past month at ZPC we’ve also been talking about Jesus is other things as well in the gospel of John. Jesus is light – he’s the light of the world. Jesus is life – he’s the way, the truth, the life. He is the light we need to guide us, for us to “see" and he makes us live, and is everlasting life and full life here on earth.
So knowing that Jesus is light, Jesus is life, and that Jesus will fill your hunger and quench your thirst, how do you seek him? You’ll have to be intentional, you’ll need a plan. You’ll need to have some discipline to desire God more this year.
This is the first full week of a new year. It’s a really cool sounding year, 2020, the start of a new decade. Some say the decade starts with years ending in 1, like 2021, but 2020 sounds better to my ear as the start of the decade!
This new year, this new decade: How will you hunger and thirst for God?
John 6:35 and this question were central to this past Sunday's sermon at ZPC. Listen now if you missed it.
Take some time to consider how will I hunger and thirst for God this year?
I’m trying to read the Bible in a year. I use the word “trying” because I know it’s challenging for me to do that, and I’ve often taken a year and a half to finish…so I started back in October to get a head start! But I love to read, I love the Bible, and I’m going to try and dig in to reading the Bible in a year. I’m going to be picking up some books on the way to help me – such The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey to inspire my reading of the Old Testament. And I’m going to use the You Version Bible app to track the Chronological Bible in a Year reading plan for me.
You might like people – so you will use 2020 to connect with people, to relate to them, serve them, get to know a neighbor. You might be more introverted, so you’ll more easily connect with God through quiet times or walks in nature to see God’s creation, and be in reflective prayer. Whatever you practice, do it with gusto, knowing you will sometimes fail or fall behind (like I will), but come back to God again and again, and cultivate a thirst for God.
So when Jesus says that if you come to him, if you believe in him, you will never be hungry and never thirst…answer this question:
How will you hunger and thirst for God this year?
Let us know your response.
Here's to a great 2020. Hope to see you at ZPC.