July 28, 2020 – Isaiah 55
During this COVID season, several friends and I have started doing “virtual dinners” through video conferencing. Sometimes it’s quite simple where it doesn’t really matter what we’re eating. Other times we coordinate the menu and even start dinner by preparing our food together in our respective kitchens. A couple of times we’ve even washed the dishes together.
Isaiah 55 begins with an invitation to a dinner — a banquet, actually — and the menu is amazing! Not just good food, but great food! From the best restaurant in town! And the best part is, it’s all free! You’d have to be crazy not to attend this banquet!
But that’s exactly what God’s people have done according to the prophet Isaiah. Over and over again they’ve refused God’s invitation to live in his kingdom – his unending banquet of life, love, wholeness and overflowing abundance. Instead, they seemed to do the exact opposite: They continually wasted their time, effort and resources pursuing things that harmed them and those around them – things that ultimately brought suffering, chaos and death.
But God was not so easily put off. And so, more than 2,000 years ago, he once again issued the invitation for this strange banquet — this unending kingdom of love. This invitation came in the form of a young rabbi who showed what the banquet looked like by forgiving, healing and restoring people physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
And this rabbi, Jesus, is still in the business of inviting people to his unending banquet of forgiveness, healing and restoration. There’s no need to waste our time, effort and resources on things that won’t deliver. Not when we’re invited to the real thing.
Questions for reflection:
- Where have you experienced Jesus’ forgiveness, healing and restoration in your life?
- Are there places in your life — regrets, habits, secrets, pain, broken relationships — that Jesus still wants to forgive heal and restore? What are they?
- What steps can you take to help you trust Jesus with those places?
Bible passages for further exploration: Psalm 34:8–14, Mark 2:13–18, Luke 14:15–24, John 2:1–12 and Luke 15:12–32