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. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. Isa. 55:1-3
Most gracious Father, I praise you today for the simple pleasure of eating. You could’ve created us to receive the needed nutrients in some other way, but you are the fountain of pleasures, the Lord of delights, the Father who feasts us; and thus eating is one of the many gifts of goodness we get to enjoy.
Right now I’m thinking about the amazing crab cakes that looked as big as wagon wheels on my wife’s plate last night; I’m also savoring the thought of the sweetest corn on earth, grown by my friend, Paul; a salad of six greens, four berries, 3 different crumbled cheese, topped with crunchy croutons; and finally a deep-dish double-crusted apple/walnut cobbler, with mounds of homemade vanilla ice cream on top.
All of this, of course, shared with about twenty-five good friends, children and pets. Thank you, Father, for the utter joys of eating and laughter, banquet and beauty. But alas… like all of your good gifts, even our eating is broken, and we are such poor stewards of our thirst and hunger.
Too much of the time, Father, I’m a hungry man standing in front of all kinds of refrigerators, real and metaphorical, demanding instant gratification. I’ll grab whatever drink I think will slake my thirst, and I’ll eat whatever bread will make me full in the moment. Like Esau, I let a bowl of steaming oatmeal in my hand hold more power than the promise of a sumptuous feast. Oh, foolish man that I am! I’m never really satisfied when I binge on the snack foods and fast foods of my own lusts.
Father, you’re always beckoning us to the only feast that will satisfy the deepest thirst and the seemingly insatiable hunger of our souls. You’ve spread the feast of the gospel of grace before us, and the whole bountiful banquet has already been paid for in full. Incline my ears to listen more attentively to your dinner bell. You designed us for delights you alone can satisfy.
Lord Jesus, you are the Bread of Life and the giver of living water. You’re the richest fare the Father has promised. You’re not a chalked-in special of the day at the diner. Whatever else I’m consuming, if I’m not regularly feasting on you in the gospel, I’m a deluded and dangerous man.
We praise you for the regular means by which you meet us and by which you feed us: the Scriptures, prayer, fellowship, private and corporate worship, service, the Eucharist—the firstfruits and foretaste of the meal from which all banqueting derives its meaning: the wedding feast of the Lamb (Rev. 19). Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed us till we want no more! So very Amen we pray, in Jesus’ generous and glorious name.