This week as we enter into our reflection on God’s Word to lift us up and be a source of strength during challenging times we find ourselves with two beautiful images of God’s desire to restore, nourish and welcome all into a relationship with Him. The mountain top is an ancient symbol for God’s presence and power, and the wedding banquet a sign of God’s love and covenant with His people.
In both Isaiah 25 and Matthew 22 we see God’s profound desire to not only be in relationship with His people but to also provide for them and lead them from a place of pain and struggle to a place of blessing and rest. As we see our own times we are so aware of our need for God’s presence and action in our world. We must be reassured that God has not left us out in the dark to fend for ourselves alone, but he is very much present to us and invites to experience His grace and blessings as we are invited to the Feast.
In looking more deeply at Isaiah these words of encouragement and prophesy are proclaimed to a people who have suffered and lost so much, all that they have, their very sense of being and meaning had be destroyed. This exilic prophet of Israel speaks to us today.
We too find in the promises of God and assurance of His ever presence and ability to bring about a transformation in our lives and that of our world, our nation and our society. To often we are dismayed by the evil and hardships we see each day. But allow this day to be a new day, allow this moment to be a new moment. This is a time for God’s power and grace to reign over our lives and to bring about a victory for God’s glory.
This invitation and great jubilation of the wedding feast and the mountain top reminds us that we belong to God and it is He who is in control. God chose us and called us into a Covenant relationship with Him through His Son our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is cause for joyful celebration for us, that we have access to the creator of universe, of that is and He desires to invite us to share in His Divine life.
This Banquet of rich food and drink, is lived as we celebrate the Eucharist. It is the mirror to the eschatological banquet in heaven in God’s Kingdom. Just as those invited to the feast in the Gospel were pulled from the by-ways and highways, from every land and people and way of life, so to are all of us invited. In Matthew’s Gospel you might be wondering why the man who was not dressed was thrown out, he was brought in off the streets. The answer is simple. Although he came in from the streets, he failed to utilize the garment provide for him and all the guests that was provided upon entry into the banquet.
You see although we are all invited we still have something we need to do, we have our small portion to put into action in order to share in blessing of the banquet and God’s kingdom. We have a great opportunity to bear witness to the kingdom of God, to reach out in understanding and engage those who find themselves on the peripheries and margins. The find themselves left out and we bring them into the community by giving them welcome, showing them love and reminding them that they too matter to God and to Us. “So Come to Feast of Heaven and Earth, Come to the table of Plenty…..”