9th Sunday after Pentecost (Prop 13 – A)
August 6, 2017
Grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The text that I have chosen for this morning’s sermon is the Old Testament reading from Isaiah, which was read a few minutes ago.
I love all kinds of funny movies and one of my favorites, The Three Amigos, came out when I was in high school. It was so hysterical that I found myself in the same theater the very next night, and I’m not sure how many times I’ve seen it since then. There’s one scene where Steve Martin is on a wall trying to get the attention of the other two amigos who are waiting down below. He first tries some soft whistles and when the whistles don’t work, he starts making bird noises. He then makes progressively louder and a more bizarre bird noises, all to no avail. Finally, he just shouts, “Hey you guys!” He tried to be discreet since they were sneaking around, but it didn’t work. Discretion would’ve been good in the movie, but sometimes indiscretion is better and that’s why Jesus says to you, “Hey! Come here!”
The entire Bible points to Jesus, so even though Isaiah is relaying God’s message to the Israelites, it’s also Jesus speaking to us, and His message hasn’t changed. He says, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” In the Hebrew, the word for the first “come” is actually “Hey!” Jesus calls to those who hunger for help, who thirst for any sort of hope or comfort, who are poor and hurting and says, “Hey! Come here so you can be satisfied!” He calls you to come and be filled up with good things. He doesn’t offer you spiritual junk food like worthless platitudes, empty promises, or clichés, He offers you real nourishment. He’ll satisfy your spiritual thirst because He’s the Living Water. He’ll satisfy your spiritual hunger because He’s the Bread of Life. He gives you Himself in His Word which Peter calls “pure, spiritual milk”. He calls the poor, the hungry, the thirsty to the banquet that He prepares for us. He serves you a perfect meal of forgiveness and hope, and it’s free. “He who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” You don’t have to earn this meal or work for it or give God something in exchange for it, it’s yours for the feasting. Hear His call, hear His Word and you will be fed.
You may have heard the saying, “There’s no such thing as a free lunch” which means that everything, even free things, have a cost. You can use a coupon for a free meal at Ryan’s and it’s free for you, but it comes out of Jeff and Stacey’s profits. You might receive a free hotel stay for listening to a timeshare presentation, but it costs you time. And so it is with the food and drink that Jesus gives to you. It’s free for you, but it is the most expensive meal ever served because it cost Jesus His life and His Father’s love. Isaiah says a couple of chapters before today’s reading, “He poured out His soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet He bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.” It was expensive meal, its cost was one that none of us could ever pay, so He paid it for us. His blood paid for the Living Water which quenches us with forgiveness. His beaten body paid for the wine and milk that nourish us with comfort and hope. In the death of the Bread of Life we are fed for all time. In His death He says, “Hey! Come and be satisfied!”
To come to Jesus and be satisfied is not something you do only when you feel like it. The meal is prepared and offered each and every day. The Lord says, “Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live.” You are fed by hearing His Word. You are nourished when His Word fills you with the good wine and milk that He provides. Be fed by hearing His Word in church, Bible study, and Sunday School. Eat the Lord’s Supper where He feeds your body and your soul. If you don’t spiritually eat regularly, if you eat only sparingly, you will not be in the best of health. You may even find yourselves starving to death and never realizing that it is Jesus who provides the sustenance you need.
He is the one that gives us life because He has promised it. He says, “I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.” He made a promise to King David that one of his descendants would be the one who would save the people, and He kept that promise by giving us Jesus, the Son of David and the Son of God. You don’t need to starve, you don’t need to go hungry, come and let Him feed you with all that you need for your heart, mind, and soul.
Jesus says, “Hey! Come here and be satisfied” because the stuff you usually eat will never truly satisfy you. Have you seen the commercials for Snicker’s candy bars which say, “You’re not you when you’re hungry”? Well, you’re not you when you’re spiritually hungry either. You’re not you, a spiritually satisfied child of God, when you’re hungry and try to satisfy your hunger in other ways.
Like a Snicker’s bar which may satisfy you until supper time, the things we eat to satisfy our spiritual hunger and need may satisfy us temporarily, but they don’t nourish us. We have practices that make us feel satisfied, but they really don’t give us what we need. If it isn’t the Living Water or Bread of Life that is Christ Jesus, you’ll never be find satisfaction. Think about it. If you eat nothing but Snicker bars or McDonald’s French fries, are you going to be healthy? Of course not. Even if they fill us up, they don’t nourish us, and while occasionally eating junk food may not hurt your health, spiritual junk food will always harm your souls. So Jesus says, “Hey! Come here and be satisfied!” Don’t look to other foods that cost you love, forgiveness and hope. Incline your ear to Jesus and hear His Word. His Word is never junk food, but the most nutritious meal you’ll ever be given.
Jesus says, “Hey! Come here!” because He has food that He wants you to share. In the account of the feeding of the five thousand, Jesus took five loaves and two pieces of fish and satisfied the peoples’ physical hunger. The disciples began handing out the food and miraculously there was enough for everyone. And not only that, even after the people shared with one another, there was food left over. Jesus provided an abundance of bread and fish and everyone was satisfied.
When it comes to the spiritual bread that Jesus gives us, He has provided an abundance of that as well. There is plenty of peace, comfort, and hope. There is plenty of forgiveness. There’s enough of the Bread of Life to feed everyone, so share Him. Invite people to the banquet, let them hear about Christ’s forgiveness for them. Let them hear and drink His promises. Let them hear and feast on the only food that satisfies all their needs. There’s plenty of Jesus to go around, so share Him and lead them to Christ that they too might hear Him say, “Hey! Come here and be satisfied!”
Do you hear Him? Do you hear Jesus indiscreetly and noisily calling to you, “Hey men! Hey women! Hey children! Come here and be satisfied!”? Come be fed by the Bread of Life. Come quench your thirst with the Living Water. Don’t bring money, don’t bring anything to pay God with. Leave the junk food behind, leave your homemade snacks behind, and feast on the nutritious Word of God, Christ Jesus. Come and never be hungry or thirsty again.
Now the peace which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen