Isaiah 55, 1-4
Something to read
An Invitation to Abundant Life
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.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labour for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline your ear, and come to me;
listen, so that you may live.
I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
In a community that is thirsting for a future, the prophet speaks a promise of invitation. God’s Word satisfies our hunger as no other book or message can. As an Empire begrudgingly offers resources that are expensive and unsatisfying, a voice calls out to the passer-by with free water, wine and milk… tempting each hearer to indulge.
It is a voice that still beguiles us today with 'come, all you who are thirsty' (v1). As each Christian walks on her or his path the need for sustenance and nourishment is obvious, and the covenant that each enjoys becomes more apparent through that need being met.
How is it met, you may ask? Through God’s Word, through God’s people, through faithful love, through a listening ear. Ultimately it is met in the person and life of Jesus Christ: if you are weary and burdened, go to Him (Matthew 11:28); if you are seeking your purpose go to Him for instruction (Mark 1:17); whatever you thirst for, go to Him (John 7:37).
In the Western world a great majority of us will not thirst this Christmas season, but enjoy much blessing that God has graciously afforded us. Often we do not hear the invitation of God to give thanks, to share what we have, to be satisfied.
God made a witness to the peoples (v4), and we today as His hands and feet, as part of the body (1 Corinthians 12:27), must take on our burden of witness.
Something to do
'What can I do?'
I have asked myself this question so often. It seems to speak louder as I enjoy the great blessings of comfort, family, love, shelter - things that many are denied.
But what can I do? What should I do? For me, I have to be willing to forgo not possessions nor money (although both may be a result), but my pride and my time. Pride holds me back from reaching out to those that most need a touch of compassion. My time – a precious commodity that I ruthlessly monopolise – is not my own, but God’s.
How today can you offer God a sacrifice of your pride and time? It is in answering this question that we find out what we can truly do.
Something to pray
Sovereign Lord, the greatest of Your works is beyond compare. You are the author of creation, the giver of life. Sovereign Lord, You made an everlasting covenant and invited us to be the beneficiary, to receive Your faithful love. Sovereign Lord, give us the strength today to offer our lives in obedience and service, for You alone. Amen.
Today's contributor is Russell Winfield, a URC minister who trained at Westminster College, Cambridge.