‘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 labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Surely you will summon nations you know not,
and nations you do not know will come running to you,
because of the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel,
for he has endowed you with splendour.’
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,’
declares the Lord.
‘As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
‘Come’ ‘Come’ ‘Come’, the conclusion to the Second Isaiah is an open invitation from God. There are no preconditions of status or wealth, it is to known and unknown nations. It is an open invitation to all ‘who are thirsty’, a spiritual invitation to those who choose to listen and seek God, it is a gracious gift from a generous God. The invitation comes unconditionally but with concern of what we say or do, such is God’s great love. To those who repent the Lord ‘will freely pardon’; God’s open invitation is also a gift of God’s grace and forgiveness.
The invitation is present today. It is easy to be caught up in our busy lives, our own thoughts and ways. During our Lenten preparations, read again the invitation from Isaiah to ‘come, come, come’, to drink the waters of life in the presence of God and in God’s ways
Loving and generous God
in the bustle of our daily lives
grant us peace and calm,
the peace and calm in the Lenten preparation to hear Your words;
to listen to Your open invitation to refresh our Spiritual thirst and hunger.
Loving and gracious God
grant us Your grace to accept your gifts with open hearts and minds
to quench our spiritual thirst and hunger
and accept Your gift of forgiveness of our ways
that are not Your ways as an act of faith.
Ann Sinclair is elder in the Northern Synod and an Assembly accredited lay preacher
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