“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of rich food, a feast of well aged wines, of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.” – Isaiah 25.6
On this Thanksgiving Weekend this is a beautiful image to ponder. In a year which has brought to our awareness broken relationships between the peoples of the world, the vulnerability of our humanity, the fragility of the economy, the continual destruction of our sister Mother Earth and the strains of this pandemic, the image from Isaiah is both comfort and invitation. It may offer us comfort as we look ahead to celebrations once again with out restrictions. It may provide comfort to know we are not alone, even if we have to dine alone, we are always welcome to the mountain of the Lord. It may provide invitation for us to extend our gratitude to someone we know who could use a kind word this weekend. It may provide an invitation for us to ensure that we share from our feast of rich food and well-aged wine with someone who is alone or less fortunate. It is an image of comfort and invitation, but also of awareness of blessings and the work of building the kingdom.
No matter how we will celebrate this Thanksgiving whether that is with our family, with a neighbour, over a campfire, alone with a turkey TV dinner, by food dropped off at our door, at a park with individual picnics, with the help of technology, in isolation or with a larger safe bubble of people, we are all invited to give thanks. In fact, we have much to be thankful for even in the trials, hardships and pains already endured in 2020. The comfort and invitation of the image from Isaiah speaks to us of lasting hope. The mountain with the feast of rich food and well-aged wines is calling us to hope. It is a reminder that no matter where we feast or who we feast with this weekend our God desires to have all people gathered at a banquet where all are fed and all are welcome. This is an image of hope. This hope invites us not only to comfort but to invitation to extend this gift and blessing.
As we sit down to feast this weekend or as we sit down with what little we can scrape together let us raise our hearts and voices in thanksgiving. A thankful heart is a heart of hope. Goodness knows we need to keep hope close at heart; in our words, prayers and actions. How can we carry hope forward into our hurting world as we give thanks? Who can you ensure is sitting at the banquet table? What can you give thanks for even in this pandemic?
Each day is a new beginning,
an opportunity for us to encounter God’s amazing and steadfast love.
Each breath we breathe,
a reminder that our God is that close to us again and again.
Each step we take,
an opportunity for us to show forth love, kindness, respect
and the common good for all humanity.
Each task or job we do,
a reminder that we have unique abilities, skills and talents to share.
Each meal we share,
a moment of thanksgiving for our daily bread and the Bread of Life.
a moment to be aware of the fullness of life, the demands and blessings
of the journey and to offer a hymn of grateful praise.
With grateful hearts let us remember we are a people of hope
today, tomorrow and forever. Amen.