Roger's Postings

Friday, July 29, 2011

Isaiah 55:1-5.                          Being satisfied???                               31/7/11

 (1)  "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. {2} 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 your soul will delight in the richest of fare. {3} Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David. {4} See, I have made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander of the peoples. {5} Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations that do not know you will hasten to you, because of the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, for he has endowed you with splendour."

 Today we have another reading that is very clear in its meaning for us and our world today. Again, as much as we might like to think we can find satisfaction and fulfilment in many different ways; the point is very clearly made that this is not the case. It again makes the point that there can be no life and satisfaction apart from taking God and his Word seriously.

 Thereby this reading here challenges the very philosophy which rules over us at this time; and sadly even us who are Christians have come under that same influence. We too have been taken in by the same subtle, but very destructive, idea that has permeated throughout our whole society.

 This philosophy, of course, is that money and what is gained by it, is the be all and end all of life. It is what has become all important for our survival; our security; and our happiness. It alone satisfies. So it dictates what we do and don’t do: what our ethics and morals are: and what and who is and is not important: and I could go on. But the almighty dollar is what has become the basis and centre of life: it has become our god: big time.

 But for all of that, are we satisfied, happy and at peace with life and those around us? Has it given us what we really need in life, and has it lived up to all that it has promised us? No! Of course not! And sadly far from it. In fact, the more that we are becoming obsessed by economics, the more that it is only making things worse for us. For sadly the more we focus our attention in this area, the more we find ourselves under pressure and struggling: and the more we are finding emptiness, dissatisfaction and corruption.

 Now sadly our whole country and western world seems to be bent on going down the same track, and the results are becoming more and more evident: the morality of our nation is declining rapidly: Peace of mind, contentment, harmony, sense of community and all the rest are fast disappearing. As it disappears, we are continuing all the harder to seek after more and more money, by fair or foul means, thinking that this is the answer. But along with that we are becoming more and more selfish and self-centred; and so the process continues, and gets worse and worse. At the same time, the things that we so desperately need, like love, friendship, happiness, peace of mind, security, hope, and meaning of life, are disappearing more and more.

 Now this should not surprise us here, for here again, our text reminds us that these things that are important, cannot be bought with money: That which truly satisfies and gives life, cannot be purchased and had through money and selfishness. As much as that is a bitter pill for our modern human race to swallow, that is the fact of the matter. The things that are important and valuable for us cannot be obtained through the financial and material things of life: that is the reality of the situation, whether we like it or not: whether we want to submit to God or not.

 Now in response to this situation we can keep on going down the track we have taken in recent years: and we can continue to struggle and sweat, cheat and ignore God, most of the time; but if we do we need to remember that we will keep going further and further down the track of emptiness, futility and bitterness.

 On the other hand we can heed what our Lord is saying to us here again this morning. As we do, we will find answers that are truly remarkable. Here we have a message that puts a whole different slant on this whole subject; and it is a real encouragement to us who are seeking after real satisfaction from life. Because here there is no, ‘having a certain amount of money’ or enough knowledge, or being good enough, or anything else, in order for us to have that which we really need. There are no strings attached: no ‘just a little bit more’. All our Lord says, is come and receive. Come and you can have all you need and a lot more. Come and you can have all the security in life that you could ever hope to have, and more: Security that ensures peace of mind throughout this life and into eternity as well. Come and you can have all the love, friendship and joy that will fill your every day, in every way.

 The Lord has it all there for us: everything that is important and fulfilling for us; and he promises that it will satisfy those ever so important needs that we have. It is all there for us, if only we would wake up and accept it: if only we would allow God to give it to us.

 Our Lord has come to us and not only promised to give us all of this, but he bound himself in a contract to make it all available to us: a contract that he would never break from his side. Through our Lord Jesus Christ and his life, death and resurrection, that contact was permanently etched into history: signed with his blood, so that no one can dispute it: Made available to every single human being here on earth. Through and in our connection with Jesus Christ now we have available to us the very best that God has to offer: as an absolute guarantee. He will never leave us or forsake us.

 At our baptisms he signed that contract with each one of us personally, and gives us that assurance again and again every time we come to the Lord’s Table: because there he gives us his very body and blood, which he shed on that cross, so that we can be sure that he loves us, forgives us, and has eternal life in heaven for us. So we can go from here and know that in and with our Lord Jesus, there is true life, prosperity, love, peace and ever so much more: Enough to satisfy us to the full as well as to share with those around us. We are also then able to go forward every day knowing that our Lord goes with us: that he cares, and has the very best in mind for us and for others. Even when things are at the very worst from an earthly point of view, we know that he is there with us: that he cares, and is using that situation for good. At the same time we know that he has won eternal life for us, and that no one and nothing can separate us from this love.

 As we daily listen to his Word: his guidance and direction; we also find that he leads us down paths that yes, may be very interesting, even if difficult, but they are always paths that lead to what is good and right. As we live each moment of life knowing that our Lord is there with us and for us, he will bring blessing to us and through us to others, and we will not be left feeling empty and searching for more. Take it from me, with God in control, life is anything but boring and empty and meaningless: he gives more than enough to fill each and every day. Sure the situations we may face and the world we live in will not always be easy, because sin is ever around us, but we have the assurance that he is there with us through it all, and it never ceases to amaze me how in the thick of it, he gives that peace and security and hope that we need and cannot find anywhere else. And yes, even in the midst of my failures and weaknesses he still brings forward results and blessings that are way beyond what we could ever imagine possible. Our Lord does make a difference; a big difference.

 So let us not listen to the lies of our modern society, that are sending us down a road that is not for our good, and that leads to futility, unhappiness, dissatisfaction and emptiness: and ultimately destruction. Our Lord has what is needed to bring our lives and our countries back to what it should be and needs to be. With God there with us and for us, and we listening and following, every moment of every day, things will change: and they will change dramatically: that is his promise. As we take him seriously all the time, and not just now and again, we will begin to see the greatness of what he all promises us here. He will satisfy our many real needs.

 So listen again to what our Lord says:
"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. {2} 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 your soul will delight in the richest of fare. {3} Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.

This is the word of the Lord. To him be all glory and honour now and always. AMEN.

 Pastor Roger Atze
Glandore/Underdale Lutheran Parish


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