Saturday, March 9

Saturday, March 9   

Scripture: Isaiah 55:1-9

“Is anyone thirsty?
    Come and drink—
    even if you have no money!
Come, take your choice of wine or milk—
    it’s all free!
Why spend your money on food that does not give you strength?
    Why pay for food that does you no good?
Listen to me, and you will eat what is good.
    You will enjoy the finest food.

Come to me with your ears wide open.
    Listen, and you will find life.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you.
    I will give you all the unfailing love I promised to David.
See how I used him to display my power among the peoples.
    I made him a leader among the nations.
You also will command nations you do not know,
    and peoples unknown to you will come running to obey,
because I, the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, have made you glorious.”

Seek the Lord while you can find him.
    Call on him now while he is near.
Let the wicked change their ways
    and banish the very thought of doing wrong.
Let them turn to the Lord that he may have mercy on them.
    Yes, turn to our God, for he will forgive generously.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
  “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

Some thoughts:

     This pericope is so rich in so many ways. Once again, notice the verbs God uses. We are urged to come, to listen, to seek, to call, and to turn. Follow the sequence: come, there is no charge, it’s free; listen with your ears wide open and I will make a covenant with you and bless you; seek the Lord, you can find him; call, he’s right beside you, turn from your waysto the Lord, repent. You will be forgiven. You are deeply loved. Isaiah’s words paint a picture of the Messiah’s love.

     Jesus fleshes out this Isaiah passage in John 4 with the woman at the well where he offers her living water . . . and grace is emphasized again. The Lord offers her wine and milk, more costly than water. His is living water, an offering of everlasting life. This gracious invitation of God to come to him recurs in Revelation 22:17 in very similar words. “Come, let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life.”

     In the second half of verse three through verse five, God reminds his people of the covenant he has made. As is typical in a suzerain covenant, the greater (God) reminds the lesser (his people) what he has already done on their behalf. It is an affirmation of what he has done and will do for them in the future. Isaiah urges the people to seek the Lord and be faithful to him “now while he is near.” Since the invitation will not always be open, it is important to act when God extends an invitation which continues in the present moment. 

     This passage of Scripture then concludes with two of the more interesting and insightful verses in the Bible. The Lord says very plainly, I don’t think like you think. You can’t even imagine in your wildest dreams the way I work. That’s comforting. Would we want a God who thinks like we do? No. We don’t want an equal; we want God to be God. He then gives us a metaphor. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than . . .” What God does, his plans and actions, and the way he thinks and operates are not comprehensible to us. All the people in the New Testament failed to understand Jesus’ mission until Pentecost. We cannot begin to grasp either his ways or his mind, yet he loves us, guides us, and forgives our petty ways. Humbling, isn’t it?

Music: “23” A Girl Named Tom (These are siblings. Growing up her brothers called her Tom!)

Prayer: You, O eternal Trinity, are a deep sea, into which the more I enter the more I find, and the more I find the more I seek. The soul cannot be satiated in your abyss, for she continually hungers after you, the eternal Trinity, desiring to see you with the light of your light. As the hart desires the springs of living water, so my soul desires to leave the prison of this dark body and see you in truth.                                                          —Catherine of Siena   1347-1386