An invitation to the party

Worship on the Lord’s Day
Pentecost 10     06 August 2023    10:00 am
The Sacrament of Holy Communion
Online & Onsite (Mixed Presence) Gathering as a Worshipping Community
Led by the Rev. Brad Childs
Music Director: Binu Kapadia     Guest Pianist: Yvonne Boon
Vocalist: Lynn Vaughan     Elder: Iris Routledge

We gather to worship God

Music prelude

L: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.
P: and also with you.

Lighting of the Christ candle
Welcome and announcements
Silent preparation for worship

Call to Worship
L: For the beauty of the summer day,
P: And the comfort of friends nearby;
L: For the invitation to love and be loved,
P: For our God who extends that call;
L: For time set apart to nourish the soul,
P: For time to go out into the world armed with love:
L: For all these things we give thanks. Let us worship God

Opening praise: Holy is the Lord (vss. 1,2)

Prayers of approach and confession

Unclutter our lives, Lord
we have too much,
consume too much,
expect too much.

Grant us perspective;
to see this world
through others’ eyes
than just our own.

Grant us compassion;
where there is need
to play our part
not turn aside.

Grant us gratitude
for what we have,
our daily bread
the gift of life.

Unclutter our lives, Lord,
give us space,
thankful hearts.


Response: We come to ask your forgiveness, O Lord

Assurance of God’s forgiveness

Ours is the God of infinite grace. While we fail, He does not. And in Him, we are declared free of sin. Thanks be to God and Amen.

We listen for the voice of God

Hymn: O Jesus, I have promised vss 1,2, 3 (569)

Scripture reading (NRSV): Isaiah 55:1-5

Response: Glory to the father

Message: “An invitation to the party”

Isaiah is likely not just one book but three developed by a school over 80 years or so. The main reason people believe this is the case is because, in Isaiah chapter one, the people are in Jerusalem before the land is taken away. The second part continues to address the Babylonians and at the end, they are out of exile and back home again. The book comes to us in three distinct sections. What we heard today is from what is often called “the book of comforts” which includes everything in Isaiah chapter 40-55. It’s a favorite of Jesus who quotes directly or alludes to this book more than any other. The beatitudes for example where Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6).

Have you ever found yourself standing in front of the fridge, trying to find something to satisfy a vague sense of emptiness or discontent?

You aren’t looking for anything specific, but you know you want to fill a longing.

The people just restored to their homes hear Isaiah calling out a message from God. And it’s probably a nice thing to hear for a nation just released from their captives. Come here, eat and drink, and leave the coins at home.

It’s a strange and paradoxical offer.

He says, “buy wine” without money. Buy milk “without price”. The thing is this isn’t just a free for all. It isn’t “come take whatever you want”.

What is offered is something “without price” and a better way to understand this is – something that is “priceless.” It is not without value, it is beyond all value.

Clearly here, we aren’t talking about physical water or food. So what is it. What is the thing we Buy without cost?

Isaiah continues. He says Why “spend your money” for what isn’t bread. Why work for things you don’t need or don’t bring you joy? Why fritter away our lives on things that don’t count?

Now remember the whole point of Isaiah is the salvation of the people. In fact that’s what the name means even. Isaiah means the Lord Saves. And they were celebrating being back in their own land again. But overall, each book of Isaiah 1,2 and 3 all have a message. 1 is a call to the people to hold to their Lord’s teaching, to stop abusing the poor and a warning that God will not ignore their sins forever just because he is loving. God cannot be loving and ignore all wrongs. Book 2 is about the destruction that came when the people didn’t listen and an invading army came in and demolished them. By book 3 Isaiah is sure that their faithfulness during the exile has resulted in their freedom. And he takes a lot of time saying, “Yeah, we’re home and safe again… BUT let’s learn from our mistakes.

He says, Listen diligently to me, and eat only what is good for you and let your soul delight in the (and I like this) Day-Shin or “fatness” of it.

Sorry vegans, the analogy has to do with the deep richness of the food. It’s decadent. And it’s the reward for keeping the law, loving self and neighbour. That’s the deal God made with David. Keep my laws, right them on your heart so that “you will live long in the land I am giving you”.

Now that you are back, remember why things went bad. Don’t go back to ignoring God.

Of course, it is not an invitation to eat marbled beef and supersized desserts either.  It is an invitation to invest our lives in things that really satisfy—things rich in purpose and meaning.  At its root, it is an invitation to join God at his banquet table—to invest our lives in relationship to God—to allow God to set the direction for our lives—to live in faith that God will provide what we need to live joyfully.  To live in that kind of faith causes fear to shrink and confidence to grow. It leads to purposeful living—to lives that bring great satisfaction.

Verse 3 says, “Turn your ear and come to me. Hear and you should all live. And I will make an everlasting covenant with you, according to the mercies shown to David.”

If you want to stay in the land, don’t abuse it. If you want to be together in your homeland, treat each other better. The people knew the deal and they broke it.

God calls this an “everlasting covenant” but listen to what God says about that Everlasting Covenant elsewhere (Psalm 89):

“If his children forsake my law, and don’t walk in my ordinances; if they break my statutes, and don’t keep my commandments; then I will punish their sin-”. The passage adds “But I will not completely take my kindness away. I will not fail. I will not break my covenant”. It’s everlasting in part, because He keeps offering it to them no matter how many times they fail.

Even under the “everlasting covenant,” God is not bound to ignore the people’s unfaithfulness.

It’s like that old joke from Emo Phillips who said, “I used to pray everyday that God would give me a new bike. But then I learned that God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked him for forgiveness instead.”

The problem however seems to me that God isn’t fooled by apologies people don’t mean or intend to keep.

Still, this is no threat. The exhortations to listen (Isaiah 55:3), to seek the Lord (verse 6), and to choose between wickedness and the way of the Lord (verse 7) all show the passage’s connections with wisdom traditions. The invitation issued by Isaiah 55 is similar to that of the book of Proverbs Character “Lady Wisdom” to calls people to her table: “Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine I have mixed. Lay aside immaturity, and live, and walk in the way of insight” (Proverbs 9:5-6). These passages emphasize the choices a person faces in the course of a life, and they portray the divine summons as working through appeal and persuasion rather than command.

And that’s where we get the final verse in this section. It says, that as a Nation who keeps covenant, they will not only prosper again naturally simply due to order in society but so much so that “nations” they do not know, will run to them to learn peace.

It’s a nations call to be better and do better. It’s a call for people to seek wisdom and peace. It’s a call to include your Lord in your day to day choices. It’s about not reading the book but living it. It’s about building people up, caring for neighbours and it’s about not wasting our energy on things that don’t matter. But it’s also more than that.

My personal belief is that this verse is actually about Jesus (Surprise Surprise) even though it was written 600 years before Christ.

To be fair to me, that may have a little something to do with that idea that Jesus seems to think this passage is about Jesus too.

Jesus said to the woman at the well, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give will never thirst. The water that I shall give will become a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14).

And then again, as water was symbolically poured out at the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the three times all Jewish people were supposed to travel to Jerusalem, Jesus stood in the Temple and called out, “If anyone thirsts, let Him come to me and drink” (John 7:37).

What do we need to purchase this water of salvation I wonder? What does a ticket to the banquet got for these days. It’s a pretty costly item. But the answer is this.

Nothing at all! It is a free gift of God. “Buy without money.”

All the spiritual refreshment we need, symbolised by water and wine and milk, is ours without money and without price. It costs us nothing, because it cost Jesus everything. This is our invitation to the party. Come, all who thirst, to the banquet of the eternal king. Amen.

Song: To show by touch and word (763)

We respond to serve God

Reflection on giving: Dayspring is empowered to carry out our mission of worship, service, and care by generously given volunteer time, talent, and treasure. Many thanks to all who give so generously!

Prayer of gratitude and for others and ourselves

The sacrifice that honours God is a thankful heart. So let us present our offerings with thankful hearts, grateful for all God’s goodness to us.

Blessed are you, God of all creation, for all your good gifts. Use the gifts we offer to spread your goodness in Jesus’ name. Let your Spirit work through us so that your goodness will move through us into the world wherever we go.

O God, we give you thanks for your goodness
in the changing times of our lives.

For every occasion you have surprised us with a blessing,
we give you thanks
in the pressures of this present moment,
we are grateful for the strength and courage we find,
knowing you are right beside us.

Give us wisdom and patience
to face a future filled with many questions and challenges.

Help us trust in your goodness
even when we wrestle with what comes next.

Aware of our own needs and the great need around us,
we remember Christ’s compassion
and offer our prayers for the world, seeking your guidance
so that we may do our part to share comfort, healing, and hope.

The Sacrament of Holy Communion


All who hunger gather at the table of the Lord. Come, eat and drink. Find spiritual food for your journey and be one together in one meal and one Lord.

Song: All who hunger gather gladly (534)

The Lord’s Prayer (535)

Communion Prayer

Lord we come together as one people united in one act and one faith. We eat and we drink of your grace. We take these elements now, setting them aside from all common use. And we dedicate ourselves to you and to each other. You are creator. You are redeemer. You are advocate.

Be with us and guide us as you have before. Assist us in our tasks to care for others. Shine light into dark places. Grant us the lanterns that help brighten the way. We thank you for life, for guidance, and for your son – for His life, death, and resurrection. Called to His service we seek sustenance that eternally satisfies. In His Holy Name we pray. Amen.

Sharing of the bread and wine

We remember Jesus who took bread in his hands, broke it, gave it to his friends, and said, ‘Take, eat, this is my body which is for you. Do this to remember me.’

We remember Jesus who took the wine cup in his hands and gave thanks for it. He gave it to them and said, ‘This is the new covenant sealed by my blood. When you drink from it, do this in memory of me’.

Song: One bread, one body

The prayer after Communion

For family and friends and food that satisfies; for countless moments of grace and glimpses into tomorrow we praise you. Lord, lead us now, out into the world to be peace –  alive and well. Send us to share food, just as you have shared with us. Send us, challenge us, and help us proclaim your holy name. Amen.

Hymn: Put peace into each other’s hands vss. 1, 2, 4 (560)

Sending out with God’s blessing

Wherever you find yourself in the days ahead, in a lonely place or in the midst of a crowd, watch for signs of God’s goodness.

May God our Maker fill you with confidence,

May Christ our Saviour bring you peace and comfort,

And may the Holy Spirit renew your energy to greet the gift of each new day.

Response: The Blessing

Music postlude


Numbers in brackets after a song/hymn indicate that it is from the 1997 Book of Praise of the Presbyterian Church in Canada. Those and other songs are being used in accordance with the specifications of Dayspring’s licensing with One Licence (3095377) and CLC (A735555).

The Rev. Brad Childs retains the copyright (© 2023) on all original material in this service. As far as Brad Childs is aware, all of the material that has not been attributed to others is his own creation or is in the public domain. Unacknowledged use of copyrighted material is unintentional and will be corrected immediately upon notification being received.

Posted in Recent Sermons.