By: Sid Imes-Burkett
Reflection–v.2 ‘delight yourselves in rich food.’
During Lent, we’re often encouraged to think about our mortality and the ways we hurt ourselves and one another. This kind of reflection is important, but sometimes it gets talked about like we should just marinate in how bad we are. Isaiah 55 reminds us that repentance isn’t about groveling or beating ourselves up on God’s behalf. Instead, this passage begins with God’s glorious invitation to the world. Returning to God—repenting—simply means accepting God’s invitation to abundance and showing up at the party. Now, repentance isn’t passive—God doesn’t swoop in and force us to hang out. Sometimes returning means leaving behind things that feel good, like pushing others down to stand tall or isolating to feel in control. Our God wants the best for all of us, and God knows that when we do these things, we’re spending money on stuff that ain’t bread! The excellent news is that we don’t have to do any of this perfectly—or even that well. God isn’t interested in shaming us; God is just really proud of the food and excited to share it. Ever the generous host, God will abundantly pardon any and all. At Mercy, we often talk about God’s kingdom as a feast where everyone’s invited, and the food is awesome. This passage tells us that repentance is simply turning to the God who is near, who loves us, and who always invites us home.
Prayer: Gracious God, turn us toward you and your abundant extravagant love.