When I worked for an IT consultant several years ago, the company was very good at keeping its employees happy. When we had semi-annual corporate meetings everything was done up to the nines. The meetings were held in some of the fanciest reception halls and hotels in the city. The dinnerware (plates and utensils) were some of the best. And, of course, the food was terrific – drinks, appetizers, main courses and desserts – from some of the best caterers around.
As intended, the fancy meals and abundant food made me look forward to those tedious meetings.
In Isaiah we have an image of the goodness that comes from God. What will God do? How might people who struggle to have daily food feel about such an image as the one presented in verse 6? What is the “shroud that enfolds all peoples”? What comfort is offered?
The message of today’s passage is a message of hope from the sovereign Lord. It creates a feeling of comfort and joy in knowing that God will give His people abundance. But that abundance is more than just good food and drink. The abundance God gives us is an abundance of grace and mercy. It is an abundance of His love.
The Lord’s Table is an opportunity to enter into the abundant love of God. The table may be set with plain bread and a cup of juice from the store, yet it is symbolic of the grace we find in Jesus Christ. We are promised the removal of that shroud of sin, that shroud of hopelessness that we all may be feeling.
When we come to the Communion table we receive more than just a small bit of bread and a drink of juice. We are accepting the abundance of God’s mercy. We are accepting the mediation of Jesus Christ, welcoming us to the table of forgiveness and salvation.
The banquet God has for us is more than a banquet of food. It is a feast of forgiveness and salvation. While the table may appear sparse the gift from God which awaits all of us who earnestly seek forgiveness with a contrite heart is a profound offering. Through Jesus Christ, the one who mediates this reception of grace, we are invited in to a feast of eternal life in God, the Father.
DAILY CHALLENGE: How will you approach the feast God has set before you?