“All-you-can-eat buffet—FREE!” Any restaurant advertising that on their sign is guaranteed to get my attention and probably my business too. What could be better than to have a selection of everything from salad to soup to prime rib to decadent dessert from which to choose, and then to have as much as you want without the need to be concerned about cost? That would be amazing. Any restaurant offering it would have a line of people blocks long waiting to get in. The owner would expect it. He would be disappointed if people didn’t take advantage of such an offer.
God, likewise, is deeply saddened when His invitation to enjoy the feast of salvation is ignored. Isaiah describes God’s table like this: “On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—the best of meats and the finest of wines….He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces” (Is. 25:6-8). To hearts battered by sin and starving for good news, God promises refreshment. To people discouraged by their own shortcomings and fearful of what lies ahead, God offers real hope. To souls longing for peace, God opens His arms in welcome and dries all the tears.
The food we need more than anything we’ll see on a restaurant menu is Jesus, the Bread of Life. He supplies the righteousness we lack. He paid the price we could not. On the cross He perfectly satisfied the demands of God’s justice by taking our guilt upon Himself. In tomorrow’s sermon text (Jn. 6:24-35), we will hear Jesus say, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” In our celebration of the Lord’s Supper Jesus will give us His own body and blood in, with, and under the bread and wine for our soul’s nourishment and the strengthening of our faith. The blessings are priceless and forever, and they’re all free!
The Lord’s buffet is there for us in the Word and Sacrament tomorrow. But don’t wait till then. Feast on the Word today. The Lord says, “Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” (Is. 55:2). Hungry yet? The best meal ever is ready and waiting. Let’s not pass it up!
Yours in Jesus’ service,
There is only one service tomorrow—9:30 a.m. The Lord’s Supper will be celebrated. Michaela Winters will be installed as our new lower grade teacher. The newly elected church board members will also be installed. Stay after the service to visit with Kenny and Michaela and enjoy light refreshments.