By Caleb Faires
When I was a young boy, my brothers and I would listen to music as we fell asleep. To this day, I remember the resounding 1979 voice of Don Francisco singing: “Ho! If you’re thirsty, come to the water!”
I’ve always thought the zealous joy of that song was a fitting expression of our biblical call to the grace of God in Christ. God has offered us riches beyond measure, and all without price! Why would we ever turn away from the good things set before us?
And yet we do. We are quick to seek fulfillment elsewhere, even though we are urgently beckoned to receive the free riches God alone provides. How do we so quickly slide into this folly?
Today’s passage struck close to home just last week as I rose from bed on Sunday morning. In my experience, Sunday mornings are perhaps the best microcosm of the life of spiritual warfare. I have five young children, and getting everyone breakfasted, dressed, and out the door often reveals the worst side of me. I seem to heap up sins that morning, just in time to be confronted by Word and Sacrament, calling me to repentance.
It is tempting to think that maybe a better “day of rest” would be just calling it quits for the day and lounging about in my pajamas. Isaiah 56:2 points us to this Sabbath principle: Blessing and richness and joy are found in the presence of God. We need to come into His presence because that is where we find the feast of grace, offered to us without cost.
We are called to the house of prayer so that we may be reoriented to God’s ways and not our own. His thoughts are higher. His ways are not our ways. And so we must come to Him not just once, but weekly, daily, even hourly to seek and to listen.
To seek fulfillment in any human answer is folly. God has given us abundance. The ordinary means of grace are before us—a feast of the Word and of Christ Himself. His grace is given freely, and we are called to it urgently and with resounding joy.
So come. Come without money. Come eat. Come drink. Come to the waters of the Lord.
Written by Caleb Faires