“Hey there! All who are thirsty, come to the water! Are you penniless? Come anyway—buy and eat! Come, buy your drinks, buy wine and milk. Buy without money—everything’s free!
Isaiah 55: 1. The Message
As we prepare for Thanksgiving tomorrow, we may have had our plans changed, but that should never keep us from being thankful. The gift of hospitality is often associated with Thanksgiving. Here, this scripture invites everyone to a table: the table the Lord has set. Those with the gift of hospitality want to make sure that no one is alone.
One of the nicest things about Thanksgiving is that if you are invited to a dinner, the invitation means you are wanted. Often out of courtesy, a guest will ask what they can bring. Isaiah is saying that you do not need to bring anything. In this sense, the meal is truly a gift, given without thought of any reciprocal action on the part of the guest.
Here, the prophet Isaiah realizes that those being invited to the meal are thirsty and hungry, but have no money. Yet they are more than welcome. In fact, they are the desired guests.
Even though these words come from the Old Testament, they reflect the unconditional love of Jesus Christ. We are hungry for God’s love. However, our sin has bankrupted us.
Yet Jesus invites us into His Father’s house, for a seat at the table. Jesus’ offer to provide sustenance. We could never have enough money to buy ourselves a seat. The kind of seat Jesus offers has a different kind of value. That is the essence of God’s gracious, unconditional love. Each of us are loved and blessed, in spite of the spiritual poverty we bring before the King!
This truth is so central to Jesus’ ministry that He chose the analogy of feasting on wine and bread to illustrate His love. I am speaking, of course, about the sacrament of communion. We can fill our stomachs with food, but eventually we are hungry again. When we fill our souls with the spiritual nutrition Christ offers, we will never hunger spiritually, ever again.
As we prepare ourselves for Thanksgiving tomorrow, may we realize that we do not have to be with anyone to completely appreciate the gift given to us in Jesus Christ. We come to the table of the Lord not because we deserve to be there, because we don’t deserve to be there. God invites us into His feast. The spiritual meal set before us every day is something we never deserve, or are even worthy of, but for which we are very grateful.
Thank you, Lord, that You provide for me things I could never obtain without You. You fill me with Your love, blessings, and forgiveness. May I be the host to those who need to learn about what You offer daily at Your table. Provide me with opportunities to minister when I talk with those who hunger for You. Guide me. Protect me. Give me the words to share, so that others may know Your love, and Your heavenly invitation to the table in the Kingdom of God.
With a thankful heart, I pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen