The Ultimate International Banquet

Daily Reflection / Produced by The High Calling
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In Jerusalem, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies will spread a wonderful feast for all the people of the world. It will be a delicious banquet with clear, well-aged wine and choice meat.

Isaiah 25:6

Often schools and churches sponsor international banquets, festive meals in which people bring foods representing diverse cultures. At such a feast you might find yourself eating tacos with spaghetti and kung pao chicken. Quite a combination!

In Isaiah 25, we glimpse the ultimate international banquet, a meal prepared by the Lord himself for peoples from all nations. The food will be exquisite, and the celebration unsullied by gloom and tears.

Jesus picked up this vision of a great banquet for all people as he revealed the future of the kingdom of God (see, for example, Matt. 8:11). In fact, this image underlies Jesus’ statement at the Last Supper: “Mark my words—I will not drink wine again until the day I drink it new with you in my Father’s Kingdom” (Matt. 26:29). Thus, when we celebrate communion, we not only look back to the saving death of Jesus, but also look ahead with hope to the great messianic banquet yet to come. Someday we, along with people from all nations, will sit at a table with Jesus, enjoying rich food and drink in the peace of his kingdom.

QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION: What difference does it make today that we will one day enjoy the messianic banquet of the kingdom? If we embrace the hope of the ultimate international banquet, how might this impact our actions as individuals? as churches? as citizens?

PRAYER: Dear Lord, what a joy it will be finally to sit at your table, enjoying your lavish food and drink. How we will celebrate your goodness!

Today that reality seems far, far away, as nations are divided against each other, even as Christians so often can’t get along. May the vision of the messianic banquet give us hope, Lord. Moreover, may it motivate us to reach out to those around us and draw them in, especially to those who aren’t just like us ethnically, racially, socio-economically, politically, or theologically. In light of your great banquet yet to come, may we extend hospitality to all. May our churches look less and less like exclusive clubs, and more and more like the feast of the future! Amen.