Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Passage: Isaiah 55:1–55:5
†††In the Name of Jesus†††
Pastor Murray Keith
Text: Isaiah 55:1-5
Date: August 6th, 2017; Pentecost 9; Series A
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
I’m not sure if you noticed our lawn sign as you made your way into the church this morning, but I was happy to see the message that Ron put on it because it ties in nicely with our Old Testament and Gospel readings for this morning.
If you didn’t catch it, the side of the sign facing Dufferin street reads, “The bread of life never gets stale.”
Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was food that would never get stale or perish?
Sure, we can freeze our food and put it in cans, but it will go stale and perish eventually.
Even more, wouldn't it be amazing if there was food that would keep you completely and permanently satisfied?
Our Thanksgiving dinners, Christmas feasts, and even our Lutheran potlucks leave us filled and satisfied for a while - but soon we find ourselves hungry again - looking for our next meal.
Our spiritual hunger drives us as well.
In this world one religion after another claims to have spiritual fulfillment available for us.
How much would complete and permanent spiritual satisfaction be worth to us?
In our Old Testament reading the prophet Isaiah tells us that God has provided us with all that we need.
And the cost? How much do we have to pay for this ever-satisfying food for the soul?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. We pay nothing at all.
And yet the cost was more than we can ever fathom.
The price of eternal spiritual satisfaction was paid for by the promised Messiah, Christ Jesus.
Jesus paid the cost with his life that we may have a seat at the heavenly banquet. And this feast satisfies like none other.
I love the more detailed description of the feast that Isaiah provides later in his writings, “On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.” (Isaiah 25:6).
You can just imagine the succulent roasted meats and the vintage wines covering the huge banquet table! All of us seated around the table enjoying each others company and the great feast that is before us!
This feast satisfies like none other.
We often seek spiritual satisfaction from places that provide no spiritual nourishment.
We hit the drive-thru to fill our souls from sources that cannot possibly satisfy us.
Isaiah asks, “Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2).
We love to hear the self-help methods that lead us to believe that if we just think in the right way and put our minds to it, well then we can be and do whatever we want.
We love to hear how we have the power within us to fulfill all of our desires and dreams – and if we just tap into that power, we then we will be satisfied.
We seek to satisfy our hunger with our careers, with our stuff, with our hobbies, with our toys, with our phones, and iPads, and TVs, and everything else that keeps us occupied.
We seek to satisfy our hunger by simply going from one instant gratification to another. The bottle of booze. The drugs. The gambling. The pornography. The gossiping.
Satisfaction for our souls will never be found there - because there is never enough.
And the more we try to fill-up in these ways, the more our cravings take over and leave us disappointed and empty.
These sources offered by the world always go stale and perish.
And that’s because these sources do not deal with our sin.
Sin is our real problem. Sin is what leaves us empty. Sin is what leads to our death.
I am sorry to tell you that the power you have within you, the things you have accomplished in your professional and personal life, the stuff you have accumulated, are not going to save you from sin and death.
Nothing will satisfy, nothing will provide you with true peace, if your sin and your death are not dealt with.
And this really goes back a step further, in that ultimately it is our relationship with God that is at the heart of all of this.
We are not at peace, we are not satisfied, because we are at odds with the One who created us. Sin has separated us from God.
The single most basic relationship in this life is the one between the Creator and we who were created in his image.
Until we are reconciled and at peace with God - we will have no peace and no satisfaction that lasts.
The only source of satisfaction and peace comes from the lavish feast that God has prepared for us through Christ Jesus, our Lord.
The world attempts to satisfy you with food that is similar to Chinese take-out.
You eat and eat until you can’t eat any more, and 2 hours later you are hungry again – feeling unsatisfied.
In complete contrast, listen again to Isaiah’s invitation to the heavenly feast, “Come, everyone who thirsts; come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food” (Isaiah 55:1-2).
We who thirst, we who hunger, we who have no money with nothing to offer but our spiritual poverty - are invited to eat and drink without money and without price.
You are invited no matter who you are, where you have been, or what you have done.
What is being offered is a rich feast of God’s forgiveness, peace, and life.
And the feast that God has provided through his Son is not merely adequate to satisfy, but is lavish beyond what we can imagine.
God lavishly grants us all of the blessings of Christ through our Baptism.
God lavishly nourishes our faith through his Word and the Lord’s Supper.
By these gifts, through these means of grace, we receive peace and satisfaction that will never fade or perish, but will satisfy for all eternity!
Your sin is forgiven. Your death is defeated and everlasting life is yours.
My brothers and sisters in Christ, your seat at the eternal victory feast is reserved. “…eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.”
The bread of life never gets stale. Amen.
The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting. Amen.