Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Great Invitation - Remixed

Two Sundays ago, I was preaching in St John's Church, Rathfriland. The sermon was on Isaiah 55, the great invitation. This morning, I had another go at preaching the passage, as it was the chosen reading for Bible Sunday in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL), but with a bit more added in, as Dundonald parishioners are used to a longer sermon.

This morning I was having a final look over it (as I normally do on a Sunday morning), when I finally understood how the passage hangs together, and every bit together. You see, when I preached it before, I couldn't get my head around verses 3 to 5:

3Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,
a leader and commander for the peoples.
5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,
and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,
because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,
for he has glorified you.

It finally came to me that the invitation being extended is for all people, not just the people of Israel, and that the invitation is through the kingly Messiah, the David figure who is Jesus. As the great invitation is sounded out, it's not just for Israel, but that we are seeing the evangelisation of Gentiles, in line with the original invitation to Abram (Abraham), in whom all nations would be blessed.

Therefore, as we gathered this morning, we are in part the fulfillment of this promise, as the Northern Irish / Irish / British would be one of the nations unknown when God made this promise through Isaiah. We have been drawn to worship the one true God through his David - king Jesus.

But that means that we also must go and tell, and extend the invitation to others as well - to share in the mercy and grace offered by the Lord God, to find soul satisfaction, to join in the party. The good news must not stop with us, but must be shared with neighbours, friends, strangers and sojourners.

What great news, as God calls his people to himself from every people and language and nation and tongue!

No comments:

Post a Comment