“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.” (Is. 55:1)
Isaiah promised the restoration of Israel and said that the sign of that restoration would be a lavish feast spread for the hungry without cost. This is that feast. There is no cost to eat here. But there is a requirement. The requirement is that you must be thirsty. The requirement is that you must have no money. You must want to be here.
The great ongoing challenge of the church is proclaiming this grace, this open-armed grace. On the one hand, what could be more easy? Have you sinned? Just come, there’s forgiveness for you. Have you messed up with your kids, with your spouse, just come. There’s mercy, there’s grace. Have you been bruised, hurt, abused? Come, Jesus’ blood is strong. Jesus’ blood can make the foulest clean, can heal every broken heart.
And yet, sinners come, and it’s the easiest thing in the world to look around and start thinking that you’re the only one. You’re the only one that struggles with lust, you’re the only one that struggles with anger, you’re the only one that struggles with your children. And then creeps in, slowly but surely the false smiles, the hypocrisy, pretending everything is fine. But false smiles are like trying to pay your way in, like Simon the Sorcerer trying to buy the Holy Spirit from Peter. But that is to contradict the nature of this meal. This feast is for the thirsty. This feast is for the hungry. This feast is for those with no money and nothing to offer. This feast is for sinners, for those who know their need, for those who know they need grace.
Do you need grace? Do you need mercy? Are you hungry and thirsty for that? Then come.