“Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.”
My friend Ian works at Harrods, the world-famous department store in Knightsbridge. Sometimes, if I’m meeting Ian after work, I’ll have a browse in the Harrods Food Hall. If you’ve never been, it’s well worth popping in if you should ever find yourself in that part of the world. The food is just unbelievable. From the finest handmade chocolates, to the world’s best caviar, fish like you’ve never seen to meat pies you’d sell your grandmother for, everything is simply exquisite. Of course, if you wanted to do your weekly food shop at Harrods, you’d eat well, but you’d also need to be a multi-millionaire; the price tags are just as unbelievable as the food itself.
Imagine what would happen if one day, the Qatar Investment Authority (the catchily-named owners of Harrods) decided to fling the doors of the shop open, and give away for free all the stock in the food hall, there’d be a stampede. Thousands of people would descend on Knightsbridge to try to grab anything that they could. The police would have to be called in to control the crowds, and no doubt there would even be casualties.
In today’s verse, we are called to a feast by God. The food at God’s feast is even more incredible than any you’ll find in Harrods. It’s described in today’s passage as “the richest of fare,” the best there is. What is even better, though, is that this amazing food and drink won’t cost us anything. We won’t need money, because what we’ll receive at the banquet is priceless. The food that we’ll receive at this banquet will satisfy in a way that no food here on earth could possibly do.
This feast, of course, awaits us in heaven. Whilst it will cost us nothing, someone obviously has to pay for it. Banquets like this don’t come free. Our admission to this feast, to heaven, has been paid for by Jesus, by God himself, who took on human form and died on the cross to pay the price that would otherwise be required of us. In doing so, God flung open the doors of heaven and invited us all in. We’re all invited to the feast, to the party that will never end!
What an amazing invitation this is, and how fantastic that it will cost us nothing! Let’s praise God today for all that he has done for us. Let’s give thanks to Jesus for paying the ultimate price, so that we could attend this feast!