As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. (Psa 42:1 KJV) In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. (Joh 7:37 KJV)
The imagery is vivid. The thirstlands barren. Man and animals thirsty. And there is no hunger or thirst worse than that for the living word from God for man does not live of bread alone, but from the very Word that comes from God’s mouth. The picture of the rich man suffering in hell with parched lips and sore pain all over – and just no relief in sight.
Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to the rich reserves and his fonts of living water. Those are not empty promises, but he has shown in the most barren places how he gave flowing streams of fresh water to those suffering so severly in the desert, when he let the cool waters break forth from the cliffs through the striking rod of his servant Moses. Or do you remember when he changed water into wine, making it abundantly clear that his divine abundance by far surpasses are wildest expectations, dreams and hopes even.
He starts off our new life with him through his living waters in Holy Baptism. In Holy Communion with him he grants us the cup of the New Testament – his very blood shed for us on the cross – so that we would be resuscitated and revitalize in the true faith that he is good, merciful and gracious to forgive all our sins and iniquities. He himself is the very source of life and he shares it with us, so that we would be in him and he in us and nothing seperate us forever. For he and the Father are greater than all and everything. He leads us to quite waters by … goodness and mercy shall follow me all my life and I will remain in the house of the Lord forever for he is truly good and his mercy endures forever and ever. Amen.
Therefore come, taste and see, how friendly your Lord is!
“I Come, O Savior, to Thy Table”
by Friedrich C. Heyder, 1677-1754
1. I come, O Savior, to Thy Table,
For weak and weary is my soul;
Thou, Bread of Life, alone art able
To satisfy and make me whole:
Lord, may Thy body and Thy blood
Be for my soul the highest good!
2. Oh, grant that I in manner worthy
May now approach Thy heavenly Board
And, as I lowly bow before Thee,
Look only unto Thee, O Lord!
3. Unworthy though I am, O Savior,
Because I have a sinful heart,
Yet Thou Thy lamb wilt banish never
For Thou my faithful Shepherd art!
4. Oh, let me loathe all sin forever
As death and poison to my soul
That I through wilful sinning never
May see Thy Judgment take its toll!
5. Thy heart is filled with fervent yearning
That sinners may salvation see
Who, Lord, to Thee in faith are turning;
So I, a sinner, come to Thee.
6. Weary am I and heavy laden,
With sin my soul is sore opprest;
Receive me graciously, and gladden
My heart, for I am now Thy guest.
7. Thou here wilt find a heart most lowly
That humbly falls before Thy feet,
That duly weeps o’er sin, yet solely
Thy merit pleads, as it is meet.
8. By faith I call Thy holy Table
The testament of Thy deep love;
For, lo, thereby I now am able
To see how love Thy heart doth move.
9. What higher gift can we inherit?
It is faith’s bond and solid base;
It is the strength of heart and spirit,
The covenant of hope and grace.
10. This feast is manna, wealth abounding
Unto the poor, to weak ones power,
To angels joy, to hell confounding,
And life for us in death’s dark hour.
11. Thy body, given for me, O Savior,
Thy blood which Thou for me didst shed,
These are my life and strength forever,
By them my hungry soul is fed.
12. With Thee, Lord, I am now united;
I live in Thee and Thou in me.
No sorrow fills my soul, delighted
It finds its only joy in Thee.
13. Who can condemn me now? For surely
The Lord is nigh, who justifies.
No hell I fear, and thus securely,
With Jesus I to heaven rise.
14. Though death may threaten with disaster,
It cannot rob me of my cheer;
For He who is of death the Master
With aid and comfort e’er is near.
15. My heart has now become Thy dwelling,
O blessed Holy Trinity.
With angels I, Thy praises telling,
Shall live in joy eternally.
The Lutheran Hymnal Text: 1 Cor. 11:28 Author: Friedrich C. Heyder, 1710
Titled: “Ich komm’ zu deinem Abendmahle”
Tune: “Ich sterbe taeglich” Leipzig, 1756