I find this hard to believe. A feast? For all people? For Lutherans? Yes! For Christians in all of their many expressions? Well, I guess so! For all people? What’s going on here?
Maybe Isaiah in this text is a little too exuberant, a bit of a break from the bad news. After all, his message has been a heavy. Here he finds a chink in the armour and fills it with something hopeful, the idea of a feast for all people.
Actually, one, I’m overwhelmed by this text. Not only the “all” but that “he will destroy the shroud?the sheet that is spread over all nations.” And “he will swallow up death forever.” God will wipe away the tears from all faces. God will take away the disgrace of his people.
Actually, two, I think all this is possible. My thinking is limited. I want boundaries, boundaries I can identify, boundaries that define, boundaries that include me. But here we have something else in this magnanimous text from Isaiah, the chief “gospeller” in the Old Testament. For him “all” is the big word and “feast” describes God’s invitation. Isaiah reminds me to, as they say in Alcoholics Anonymous, “Let God Be God.”
Heavenly Father, the awesome carelessness of your grace surprises, perplexes and astounds us. Help us to live into it fully. Amen. — TS