NOTE: This is a post I wrote some time ago, but since Thanksgiving is upon us once more, and since I really love Isa 25:6–10, a text I taught on in a lecture earlier in the week, I want to re-post.
Enjoy the feasting…
For Americans, Thanksgiving is a day of grateful feasting, a day when there is a greater ceremonial significance for the table, a day of solemn yet joyful reflection on divine goodness with fork and glass in hand.
Feasting can be holy. We see Jesus regularly “at table,” as if affirming the dinner gathering as sacred time and sacred space. For remembering and honoring Him, He gave us a meal—the grinding of unleavened bread with our teeth, the sweet touch of wine on our lips… “do this in remembrance of me.”
The holy feast has a long tradition for God’s people. In Isaiah, we read about a special, eschatological feast:
On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined. [Isa 25:6]
But while the mortal myriads sup such luxurious wine and munch on such a lavish, meaty spread, God Himself will be eating…
And He will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
He will swallow up death forever;
And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces. [Isa 25:7]
While the redeemed and rescued are sitting at a sumptuous table celebrating salvation, God will be having His own meal. Served at the feast of God is Death itself. The massive jowels of the cosmic Lord will be grinding up the squirming, dying enemy of all flesh, that age-old foe so ruefully welcomed into a fresh, teeming world through another meal, a forbidden meal of fruit from an Eden-tree. Splayed out on a platter and set before the hungry eyes of the Almighty, Death will be digested, perhaps singed to well-done by a consuming, holy fire.
Thanksgiving is a day to eat, drink, and be merry. Christians ultimately do so not because they have a nice country in the U.S., but because a better country awaits, one in which the oppressive “covering” of Death will be crunched up and obliterated in the eschatological feasting of God.
To that, I say, “Cheers.”
Happy Thanksgiving, friends….