S (Scripture): Isaiah 25:6
On this mountain,
the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
of select foods rich in flavor,
of choice wines well refined.
He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
the shroud enshrouding all nations.
He will swallow up death forever.
The Lord God will wipe tears from every face;
he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
for whom we have waited—
and he has saved us!
This is the Lord, for whom we have waited;
let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”
O (Observation): Mt. Zion is certainly noted as a place of God’s presence in the Old Testament. The startling revelation is that ALL PEOPLES / NATIONS will be welcomed into God’s celebratory feast!
This news of hospitality and welcome was always meant for all people, but this news is doubly shocking, since God’s people have shown tendencies to close off salvation for certain peoples.
And finally, this word of salvation is Good News, because life has not turned out so well for God’s people (in Isaiah’s time) as they were witnessing the destruction of their way of life, their homes, their religion.
Good News comes…it does.
A (Application): How often have you experienced death? Has a loved one died or maybe you have experienced a metaphorical death? Either way, you know despair.
In texts like these, we can find hope once again. Against the odds and against conventional wisdom, God bursts wide the gates to heaven to all peoples.
If you are with someone who might not be able to process this Good News (because they are experiencing a death) be the mountain for them. Be the Good News not so much by your words, so much as your presence. Be present. “Don’t just do something, stand there.” (Yes, you read that right.).
The mountain remains unmoved. God resides there. And as promised, God’s Torah is written on our very hearts (Jer 31). And through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we have the Spirit to guide us and sustain us until we all gather in the end.
P (Prayer): Lord, guide us and give us hope now and in the age to come. Amen.