During this time of sheltering, my wife, my daughter and I all have our own small worlds of responsibility. There’s not much overlap, not much we can do for each other during the day. But we come together for dinner. And putting good food on the table is a way to make a connection.
So, when I cut into this loaf of bread that I baked and find a small bubble in the shape of a heart, I smile. How appropriate! Love is the unmeasured ingredient in all our meals together.
I find the same thought while reading today in Isaiah:
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)
This is one of the many, delightful mentions of the feast that God will have for us at the end of time, when his Kingdom comes in its fullness. He is, as the host, welcoming us with warm hospitality. And not surprisingly, with the choicest of foods. God does not hold back but lavishes his love.
For, to cook a meal is, essentially, to bless someone. With nourishment. But with honor as well. It says, in a very tangible way, you matter to me. I’m glad you’re here. It sets the table (literally) for a deeper relationship.
But there’s an unusual fare for the host at this feast:
And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the LORD has spoken. (Isaiah 25:7-8)
I have a tradition, that when I make a pie (they’re usually of the savory meat variety), I top it with a little artistic element that represents something in our lives at the moment. This time, a laptop seemed appropriate for all the online meetings we’re having. But it always feels a little strange to be ingesting ‘our life.’
In this passage, God swallows our death. He will utterly destroy that heavy veil that separates us from the life he intended for his creation. This death, the curse brought on by our sin, had to be removed for us to sit at his table. This he accomplished through the cross.
What a tender, inviting image this is. The table is set with the best of foods and the Lord GOD greets guests at the door, wiping the tears of sadness and shame from their faces.
This time of disconnection increases my longing to be around a table with friends and family. Isaiah reminds me that God feels the same way.
Reader: What reaction do you have to this promise of the coming feast?