Guest Post: “Marathons, Thirst and a Divine Banquet” — Otis Thornton

By March 2, 2013DiscipleChurch, Worship

DiscipleChurch Family,

This Sunday Otis Thornton will be preaching. Otis is a member of our
DiscipleChurch family and he is the Homelessness Program Director for the
City of Fort Worth. Otis has a Master’s of Divinity degree from Vanderbilt
University Divinity School. Otis has a wonderful theology and always shares
it with us in memorable ways – I hope you will join us this Sunday!
Your sister in Christ,

From Otis….
Marathons, Thirst and a Divine Banquet

The scriptures we will explore in worship this week (Psalm 63 and Isaiah 55)
each start with thirst. Soon after our first breaths, we are thirsty. And
though we do not always take note, thirst accompanies us throughout our

It makes good sense that these texts, written in a mostly arid land, speak
of hunger, parched earth, and thirst. The use of biological metaphors to
express our experience of spirituality is ancient indeed.

I think Lent can feel like a marathon. (Disclaimer: I’ve never had the
gumption, guts or stamina to run one, but I’ve been out of breath before and
it sure looks hard on TV.) Grinding away on the Lenten marathon of critical
self-reflection, it’s imperative for our bodies and our souls that we
remember, hydrate and eat. And so this Sunday, we will pause together to
rest, hydrate and eat a Holy meal.

Things to ponder on the path to Sunday:

How well are hydrated are you?
For what does your soul thirst?
Is discipline the difference between appetite and diet?
Can the thirst(s) of your soul be quenched? Would you want it to be?
For what does our community thirst? Our nation?
How do you harness the power of memory to sustain you?


Scripture texts

Isaiah 55
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? Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live. I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David. See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples. See, you shall call nations that you
do not know, and nations that do not know you shall run to you, because of
the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you.
Seek the LORD while he may be found, call upon him while he is near; let the
wicked forsake their way, and the unrighteous their thoughts; let them
return to the LORD, that he may have mercy on them, and to our God, for he
will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your
ways my ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For
as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there
until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving
seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out
from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that
which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall
go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before
you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their
hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier
shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an
everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Psalm 63
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.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live; I will lift up my hands and call on
your name.
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.
My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me.
But those who seek to destroy my life shall go down into the depths of the
earth; they shall be given over to the power of the sword, they shall be
prey for jackals.
But the king shall rejoice in God; all who swear by him shall exult, for the
mouths of liars will be stopped.



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