Saturday, April 14, 2012

How do you get a happy ending?

Life is story. You might want to say its all meaningless, but even a three year old can see patterns and plots in their day to day life.

Life is small stories and subplots, big stories and big events. Micro-narratives and Meta-narratives.

Karaoke competitions have been turned into stories, twenty-first century soap operas.

Sport is story, with history and rivalry and form between teams, men and women just doing their job become characters in an unfolding story. But will the story have a happy ending or a unhappy ending. Comedy or tragedy? And if the subplots are tragic might the big story be comic? What kind of story is my life or your life?

Isaiah painted a picture of the future to the people of his day and ours, as he searched the Spirit for revelation of Jesus Christ. Death would come to the people and death would come to the nation, but Isaiah believed in resurrection, in another day beyond the last day.

Happy endings need the story to have the right hero.

There would be a feast. Feasts are about food but food isn't just about nutrition and survival. We don't plug into tubes of vitamin enhanced goop. We eat over 75,000 meals if we live 70 years. Some are toast on the run, some are three course meals. Necessity demands the former, but little is better than sitting down to eat. Because sitting to eat with someone is how friendship happens. It's why the LORD came for a sandwich with Abraham and why he invited the elders to a meal after he rescued the people out of Egypt.

Feasts are about friendship.

And this feast will be on a mountain. Mountains are God's register office. They're where relationship is sealed, with Abraham at Moriah, with the nation at Sinai, as Jesus teaches on a Mount, and hangs crucified on another.

This mountain feast is convened by 'The LORD of Hosts' - by Yahweh of Armies. Sounds inviting! But Isaiah goes on to say this LORD of Hosts is our Maker. And our re-Maker, maker of a renewed creation. And the LORD of Hosts is our Husband. Our lover who gives himself up for us.

Isaiah's happy ending is a wedding supper. The wedding supper of the LORD of Hosts, of the Lamb, of the Second Person of the Triune Community. Of Jesus.

This story is an epic with battles and conquests, but in the end it is a romantic comedy. From relationship broken to a wedding. Our today's might be tragic but if the overarching story is comic then there is real hope for a happy ending. Tragic stories are interesting to watch, but no-one wants the final story to be of Romeo and his Juliet. This story of the LORD of Hosts and his beloved is richer and fuller and more mouth-watering, as he who gives himself up for us lays the table with finest food and best wines.

    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.
(Isaiah 25:6 ESV)

You're invited to the happy ending, but how can it be possible?


  1. The overarching story is comic...even jovial? Excellent stuff as ever Bish, tasty as the prospect of that last, great feast.

  2. Jovial indeed!

    My attempts to rework and improve on my Easter Sunday preach.