Wednesday of the First Week of Advent

December 4, 2019

Is 25:6-10a/Mt 15:29-37 (177)

I love the smell of fresh bread coming from the kitchen. I admit, I really like to mix flour, water, salt, and yeast; to knead it; and even to wait for it to rise. Yes, the warm loaf is delicious, but sometimes (not always!) waiting on it brings its own pleasures and makes a fresh piece of bread even more enjoyable.  

Today’s readings call us to reflect further on food. They don’t merely center on the sustenance that God provides, but also on abundance, on “rich food and choice wine,” and on God’s welcome for “all peoples” at the table. And, when read together, they also highlight the act of waiting. 

In Isaiah 25, the author looks to the future when God will provide a feast, overcome pain and sadness, and destroy all that separates one person from another. In Psalm 23, the psalmist claims the peace and promise of God – including a meal – in the midst of difficulty. And in Matthew 15, Jesus brings this sense of welcome, of “enough,” into the present time. Gathering loaves and fish, Jesus provides more than enough to satisfy all who were there – with no judgment for their inability to provide for themselves. 

Advent reminds us both that there will be a day when God provides all the best for us, heals what is broken, and brings all people together AND that God meets us now, in this day and in this place, with food, friendship, and fullness. Our “today” certainly isn’t all that the promised feast will be, but we know that God meets us here and now AND we hold out hope for God’s promises of a feast with rich food, choice wine, and enduring peace around a common table. 

We welcome you now, Jesus … and we eagerly await the day to come. 

 

Joel Nichols
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
School of Law