Read Isaiah 55:1-5

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.
Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food.
Incline 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.
See, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
See, you shall call nations that you do not know,
and nations that do not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

from Rev. Joshua Patty, Central Christian Church, Fairmont:

My mother and brother once ate at a newly opened restaurant.  When they asked for the check, they were told that there was no charge; the restaurant was training its staff before the official opening a few days later.  Imagine if the restaurant had advertised this: “Come and eat, whatever you want, for free!”  They would have been overrun.  People would have waited for hours.

            Isaiah writes that God offers this very thing, an everlasting banquet, to all who will come.  It’s not a secret offer either.  But there are no crowds, no lines.  It’s almost like no one knows or cares.

            In our busy, stressful lives, we often overlook God’s offer, not knowing exactly how hungry we are.  We keep looking for drinks to ease our parched throats, not realizing our thirst is spiritual.  Despite our foolishness, we stumble across God’s banquet, and partake.  During this Lent, let us confess our tardiness and thank God for this waiting, gracious feast.

Cultivate the hunger that you have planted within us, O God –
a hunger for you, for your gracious nourishment,
for healing and peace.