But here on this mountain, God-of-the-Angel-Armies
will throw a feast for all the people of the world,
A feast of the finest foods, a feast with vintage wines,
a feast of seven courses, a feast lavish with gourmet desserts.
And here on this mountain, God will banish
the pall of doom hanging over all peoples,
The shadow of doom darkening all nations.
Yes, he’ll banish death forever.
And God will wipe the tears from every face.
He’ll remove every sign of disgrace
From his people, wherever they are.
Yes! God says so!
I read this passage (Isaiah 25:6-8) this morning and it made me think of the Eucharist, also known as Communion or the Lord’s Table depending on which Christian faith tradition you come from. Every Sunday we gather together and focus ourselves around the Word and the Eucharist. When we do so we recall what God has done in salvation history through the reading and preaching of the Bible. As it draws us into its story we remember the works of God in a holistic manner and are then placed within this overarching narrative. We see the hand of God among the people of Israel and the climax of the story with Jesus. As this narrative engulfs our lives, we then embody it with our lives as it reveals the reality of life itself. Our individual and communal stories get re-translated in and through God’s own story.
We then focus ourselves on the Eucharist. It is here that we anticipate the future of God, as Isaiah tells us, when God will invite all to his banquet table. He will call people to this lavish banquet where we will feast on the finest foods and drinks. No expense will overlooked as we dine at this future event as one family. “Vintage wines” will be norm. Every cup will be full to the brim with the best wine you’ve ever tasted. Not wine from a few years back, but wine that is aged and full, reminding us of the life God provides for us: full and robust. And it is this that is anticipated in the Eucharist every Sunday when we “eat of this bread and drink of this cup.” As one family we approach Jesus’ table where he presents himself and meets us there in the bread and wine. We do so in remembrance of his death, but also in remembrance of his life. And by doing so, we remember in the present and also point beyond ourselves to the day when we as a whole family will do so together.
So in our gathering we remember the past, anticipate the future (as depicted in Isaiah), all while in the present.
God has been called plenty of things. Maybe we ought to think more fully of him as a wine connoisseur.