Ninth Sunday after Pentecost Year A 2020
Grace to you and peace, from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
One thing I heard people miss here at Calvary Lutheran church during this pandemic is the occasional potluck meal that we participate in from time to time. If my memory is correct, the last time we enjoyed a meal together was at the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper that was held on February 25 just before the pandemic shut everything down.
It is hard to believe that it has been five months since we gathered as a congregation on “Fat Tuesday” and enjoyed the food set before us.
In our first reading from Isaiah, the NIV translation reads as follows: “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.”
I found it interesting to learn that modern translations of this verse often include the word “Hey” in the passage. In modern translations, God is calling out to all with the message, “Hey! Come here so you can be satisfied!”
In our text, God is calling out to everyone to come and be filled with the good things that He has to offer. Isaiah highlights, “Hey, Come and be satisfied with the Living water that I have to offer. Hey, Come and be satisfied with the Bread of Life that I will serve. Hey, Come and be satisfied with the Pure, Spiritual Milk that I will pour into your cup at my table.”
God is calling out to everyone (the poor, the hungry, and the thirsty) to come to the banquet that He Himself has prepared and receive the perfect meal of hope and forgiveness. And the best part about it is, the meal is free.
Our text states: You who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Nobody will need to work to earn this meal or give something like money in exchange for it. All we have need to do is hear His call, listen to His word, and we will be fed.
This, of course, is indeed Good News to our ears. You probably have heard the saying “There is no such thing as a free lunch” which means that everything, even free things, have a cost.
No matter what the product or service, someone has had to put in the time, energy, and money to make the free product available to you. And the same is true with the food and drink that God offers to you and me.
The meal was purchased with the most expensive price ever. It cost the life of God’s Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
A few chapters earlier, Isaiah wrote “He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many and makes intercession for the transgressors.”
Yes, the meal is expensive. Its cost was one that none of us could ever pay.
And that is why God paid it for us. With the Blood of His Son, He paid for the Living Water which quenches us with forgiveness. With His Son’s beaten Body, He paid the price for the wine and milk that nourish us with comfort and hope. With his Son’s death, He paid the price for the Bread of Life which will feed us for all time.
In the death of His Son, God calls out to us “Hey! Come and be satisfied!”
This text reminds me of the Snickers bar commercial which states “You’re not you when you are hungry.” The point being the Snickers bar therefore will tide you over until you can eat the next meal, but it is not the main source of nourishment.
Well, you are not you when you are spiritually hungry either. And that is why sometimes we reach out to things that will only briefly provide comfort to our spiritual needs but will not sustain our souls.
Like a Snickers bar that may satisfy us until supper time, the things we eat to satisfy our spiritual hunger may also provide temporary relief but will not nourish us. Think about it, if one eats only Snickers bars or McDonald’s French fries, one will be undernourished and lack the basic nutrients one needs to live a healthy life.
The same is true for our spiritual needs. God is calling out “Hey! Come here and be satisfied.” Do not look for junk food that costs you love, forgiveness and hope. Incline your ear to Jesus and hear His word. His Word is not take-out drive-through food, but the most nutritious food that you will ever eat.
Jesus Himself calls out to us “Hey! Come here!” because He has food that He wants to share with you. In the account of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish and He satisfied the people’s physical hunger.
And the disciples took part in God’s Redeeming Activity by handing out the food to the crowd and to their amazement, the people ate till they were full.
And not only that, even after the people had been fed, there was food left over. Jesus provided an abundance of bread and fish and everyone was satisfied. And the same is true when it comes to our spiritual food. Jesus has provided an abundance for us as well.
At His table there is plenty of peace, and comfort and hope. At His table there is plenty of forgiveness. At His table there is plenty of “The Bread of Life” to feed everyone, so we can share this meal with others, just as the disciples did in our Gospel Reading.
Now we can invite others to the banquet, because there is plenty of Jesus to go around. We too can shout out “Hey! Come here and be satisfied.”
In our ministry together, we can call out to the people of San Angelo and say: “Hey! You. Come be fed by the Bread of Life. Hey! You. Come quench your thirst with the Living Water. Hey! You. Leave your money at home. Hey! You. Leave your junk food behind, and feast on the nutritious Word of God, Jesus Christ our Lord. Hey! You. Come and never be spiritually hungry or thirsty again.” Amen.
Let us pray: Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ fed the hungry with the bread of His life and the Word of His Kingdom. Renew your people with your heavenly grace, and in all our weakness sustain us by your true and living bread, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.