I know a family who got hockey sticks and pucks for their two older sons and an electric guitar for their younger son for Christmas. By noon, the boys had broken all of the garage windows and shorted out the electrical system! That family did NOT experience a very Merry Christmas that year! With expectations running so high, it’s inevitable that there will be disappointments on Christmas Day.
Jesus knows all about disappointments. In John chapter 7, his brothers urge him to go to Jerusalem for the opening of the Feast of the Tabernacles and strategically declare that he is the Messiah. The Feast of the Tabernacles was one of three feasts in Jerusalem that every adult Jew within a 20 mile radius of Jerusalem was bound by Jewish law to attend. (The others are the Passover and Pentecost.) The Feast of the Tabernacles (or booths) celebrated the time when God guided the people of Israel through the wilderness. For seven consecutive days, water was ceremonially carried in a golden pitcher from the pool of Siloam to the temple as a reminder of the water from the rock in the dessert. (See Numbers 20:2-13) And the huge Golden Lamp Stand near the Temple was lit with pomp and circumstance. It was a grand celebration!
But…Jesus never showed! Finally…on the last day of the feast… he shows up! When the festival was almost over, Jesus asked, “Is anybody still thirsty?” Jesus knew the human tendency to be disappointed. Could it be that he let the crowd experience this incredible feast of the tabernacles and then come to the realization that they are still unfulfilled? What about us… have we been to the Candlelight Service, sung Silent Night, opened the presents, had the Christmas dinner… and we still feel empty inside?
Jesus asks, “Is anybody still thirsty?” Then, “Let them come to me and drink.” Jesus is reminding us that God alone can quench our human thirst for more…for the deepest meaning in life. Without God in our life, we will be forever disappointed. Nothing will ever measure up to our expectations.
Our granddaughter, Hope, loves a kiwi quencher… a delicious concoction of kiwi and fruit blended together in a delicious smoothie treat. As Hope’s grandad, there is nothing that I love more than seeing the smile on her face when I hand her a Kiwi Quencher after a varsity basketball practice. However, what pleases me the most about Hope is that she knows that a kiwi quencher is only a “temporary” thirst quencher. She has a relationship with Jesus Christ who she counts on to quench the deepest thirst of her soul.
Have we made this discovery that Hope has made? If so, then every day is Christmas…when we drink deeply from Jesus who alone can quench the deepest thirst of our soul! In a world filled with disappointments, this is very good news!