6 On this mountain,
the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
of select foods rich in flavor,
of choice wines well refined.
7 He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
the shroud enshrouding all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever.
The Lord God will wipe tears from every face;
he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
for whom we have waited—
and he has saved us!
This is the Lord, for whom we have waited;
let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
Throughout history, passages like this Isaiah text recognize that there will be days when we must remember God’s promises for us. Our Lord “will wipe away the tears from all the faces” and “swallow death forever.” Beyond this, there will be a heavenly feast in each of our honors! Like a winner celebrating a victory, Our Lord promises a victory party for our salvation.
Yet when Isaiah 25 was written, God’s people had suffered hundreds of years of oppression. I can’t imagine that that felt much like a party. Now we are in the middle of a new kind of oppression, but we must also keep hope alive. Just as God’s ultimate promise of salvation remains, we must not only stay steadfast in our faith but rejoice and be glad.
It is not easy to feel like having a party in the midst of a storm. But it is part of that inspiration that keeps hope alive. So in the Lord’s Name, let us say, “I love you”, sing in the shower, bang pots and pans, create masterpieces of any kind and share our love and community however we can. We may not feel like celebrating, but by trusting in our Lord, we can and should rejoice in God’s grace!
By Barbara Carlson
For Pondering & Prayer
Prayer: O God, of Grace, faith in life seems difficult right now. We know our strength and belief wanes in a world that is hurting. Help us to feel your presence and to hold onto our trust in You. Help us understand how we might rejoice in your salvation and share that connection with another. Amen.