Wednesday after Gaudete, The Third Sunday in Advent
Scripture: Isaiah 25:6-10 (NKJV)
6 And in this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all people a feast of choice pieces, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of well-refined wines on the lees. 7 And He will destroy on this mountain the surface of the covering cast over all people, and the veil that is spread over all nations. 8 He will swallow up death forever, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the Lord has spoken. 9 And it will be said in that day: “Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the Lord; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” 10 For on this mountain the hand of the Lord will rest, and Moab shall be trampled down under Him, as straw is trampled down for the refuse heap.
Whenever our Lord Jesus Christ begins a parable saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven (or God) is like…,” he is not just explaining about Heaven. Jesus is teaching about the way God works in His Church right here and now on Earth. Likewise, Isaiah’s description of what goes on “in this mountain” or in “the mountain of the Lord’s house” (Is. 2:2) explains God’s working in the New Testament Church today!
First, there is a feast prepared for all people. Our heavenly King sends out His servants of the Word to say, “…all things are ready. Come to the wedding” (Matt. 22:4). Jesus Christ has finished His salvific work, and through faith we receive, that is, we eat of the blessings of His banqueting table: forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation. The reception of Christ’s Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper is both a present reception of salvation, and a foretaste of the feast to come.
Second, through faith the shroud of death, which waits to consume all people, has been swallowed up forever. “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is you victory?” (1 Cor. 15:55). On Christ’s mountain Church believers receive the Good News of a resurrection and new life with Christ.
Finally, believers enjoy peace and rest. “For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His” (Heb. 4:10).
We pray: Gracious God, make us glad by the coming of Your Kingdom to us through the Word and Sacraments, as through instruments. Make us rejoice in the blessings of salvation which the Holy Spirit gives through faith in Jesus Christ. Amen.