Lenten Reflections: Hunger and Thirst No More
A Liberian girl sits on her mother's lap during church. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
By Deborah J. McCreary
“Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you that have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” —Isaiah 55:1
What an invitation from our gracious God! He invites all to come! To come and receive the abundant blessings that are his gift of grace to us; to buy without money all things necessary to the spiritual life; to buy with no money what he has already paid for by the death, resurrection, and ascension of his son, Jesus Christ.
We gather, we come and worship and give thanks for the gift that money can’t buy. We worship and give thanks because there is nothing that we can do to make us worthy of receiving him, yet he invites us to come and receive his gift of grace— salvation.
We gather, we come and worship him our King of kings, our Lord of lords, the eternal word, and the bread of life. We come to worship him who offers us these blessings of grace—Word and Sacrament, the spiritual sustenance of our lives.
We thirst. We come to the waters. We come to receive the law and wisdom that we need for our very subsistence. We buy wine and milk without money, we receive the blessings of the gospel which are suited to fortify the soul, as well as to make it glad and cheerful. God gives us his Word and through the proclamation of the Word his judgments and promises actually come into our midst. His Word changes situations, changes attitudes, changes lives. The proclaimed Word is an act of God, a work of the Spirit, a gift of grace.
We are told to come, for all things are now ready (Mt. 22:4). What things? The breaking of bread, the sharing of a community meal, finding strength and hope because our Lord and Savior has said that he will come in and eat with us (Rev. 3:20). Yes, come—enter into the covenant between God and man. Join the Royal Banquet; receive the broken bread and the cup of blessing which nurtures our soul. Worship, give thanks, confess that the Lord is our King and God.
God has given us a spiritual banquet in the Lord’s Supper by which we are able to be sustained by Christ. We are filled anew with his Spirit that we might actually be more like Christ. We who have been fed spiritually are sent out to offer nourishment and hope to the women and children of our communities in need. We are sent out into the world to proclaim Christ’s message to them: “Come, eat and drink. Have food, clean water and milk, vitamins, and health care for you and your child. Come buy without money and receive without price. Hunger and thirst no more, all that we have is God’s gift to be shared with you.”
Deborah J. McCreary, a Reformed Church of America seminarian, is a senior at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Mich.
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