November 12, 2012 by jmar198013
YHWH, you are my God!
I exalt you, I praise your name,
because you have done something wonderful,
you have been faithful to your trustworthy ancient plan:
you have turned the city into a heap of rubble;
the foreigners’ stronghold is a city no more,
never to be rebuilt!
Because you have done this
a strong people honors you,
a city of insolent peoples fears you.
As the for the poor, for them you remain a refuge:
a refuge for the needy in distress,
a shelter from the storm
a shade from the heat.
When the spirit of the ruthless
is like a torrent of rain—
When the uproar of strangers
is like the heat of a drought:
just as the heat is subdued by the shade of clouds
so is the victory chant of the ruthless subdued.
YHWH of the Heavenly Armies
on this mountain
will prepare for all peoples
a feast of rich foods
a feast of fine wines
rich foods full of marrow
and well-aged wines.
He will swallow up
on this mountain
the shroud that enshrouds all peoples,
the shadow that overshadows all the nations:
he will swallow up
the Everlasting Death!
My master, YHWH,
will wipe the tears from every face.
He will purge from the land
the disgrace of its people,
for YHWH has spoken! (Isa. 25. 1-10)
Isaiah 25 is one of those words that makes us prisoners of hope. For it promises us, in no uncertain terms, that our God will tear down the strongholds of oppression. Our God will silence the taunts of the insolent. Our God will set a table for all peoples in the presence of our common enemy, Everlasting Death. And we will feast on rich foods and a fine vintage, and God himself will devour Death. The specter of Death that shadows our time will be banished, and with it, our shame. God himself will dry our particular tears. Our God has spoken: he is making this happen.
So I can think of no better passage this morning to remember Jesus by. Jesus got Isaiah 25. Why do you think the Gospel accounts are so full of stories about Jesus eating with people? People he had befriended. People he had healed. People whose shame he had removed. People from whose faces he had personally wiped tears. Every time he set a table for his disciples and other assorted companions was a dress rehearsal for Isaiah 25. And now every Sunday morning, Jesus sets a table for us. We commune with him who forms our hope that God will be faithful to the promise of Isaiah 25. We who share in this table also have a share in Christ’s destiny. For it is in his Cross that our disgrace is removed. It is in his Resurrection that Death is swallowed up.
Each Lord’s Supper is an appetizer for Isaiah 25. We are eating and drinking promises. Savor them. Each bite and each sip is flavored by the inbreaking of God’s Kingdom, even as we inhabit the Babylon of our time, with the victory songs of the ruthless ringing in our ears. Our God remains a refuge for the poor, a shelter for the needy in distress. Our God topples the cities of the ruthless and cuts off their victory songs mid-stanza. Our God has prepared a table for all peoples where he will devour Death. Our God will wipe the tears from our faces and swallow up Death forever. Our God has spoken. Through his Son, he has spoken.
Bread: Father, as we share this bread, may we take refuge in our share in your Son. May each morsel be a foretaste of your promise through Isaiah, embodied in the person and work of Christ. Amen.
Cup: Father, as we share this cup, may each sip remind us that you will swallow up Death forever. Amen.