The Scripture reading this week is Isaiah 55:1-13
The Sermon title is Go Out in Joy
They could be forgiven for having no hope. After all, they were living in exile, a defeated and enslaved people whose land and temple had been destroyed. And to these people God speaks through Isaiah saying:
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...Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. 3Incline 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.In the midst of the lives of scarcity, shattered dreams, and despair God speaks of abundance and promise and hope.
If we are honest, we would admit that we do spend our money and our labour in ways that are often less than satisfying. Often those choices feel forced upon us. And short of the Kingdom of God coming to full flower I am not sure that will totally change anytime soon.
On the other hand, the passage reminds us, there is more about life than those things. God is still active and changing the world. God's word (the word of life, of love, of hope) is still falling on the world. God is still speaking, and God promises that God's word will have an impact -- eventually at least..
Which means that we can go forth in joy and peace, we can join in the celebration of the earth.
Christ is coming, the birth of hope is nigh, Joy shall come, even to the wilderness.