"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price." (Isaiah 55.1) The beverages of which Isaiah spoke – water, milk, and wine – became scarce in Israel as they suffered the covenant curses for their disobedience (Deut 28.18, 24, 30, 33, 39, 51). Water, milk, and wine correspond respectively to our human needs of refreshment, nourishment, and joy. Without water, there could be no life. Without the protein found in milk, there could be no growth. And without wine, well, do we really want to imagine a world without wine? God has given it as an expression of his goodness to gladden the heart of man (Ps 104.15) and grease the sandy gears of life. Without wine, we would be deprived of color, beauty, and exhilaration in this present evil age.
While Israel sat on the brink of destruction, the prophet’s use of this imagery couldn’t have been more timely. What water, milk, and wine do for us physically, the gospel does for us spiritually. It refreshes us with the living water of Christ (Jn 4.14; 7.37-38), nourishes us so that we may “grow up to salvation” (1 Pet 2.2), and causes our hearts to rejoice in the promise of glorified life (1 Pet 1.8). Every Sunday, in the public means of grace, Christ sets these beverages before us in abundant supply.
He sets them before us this Sunday in two meals, one in the morning and one in the evening. The morning meal at CURC, which always includes the Lord's Supper, will be from 2 Kings as Rev. Joel E. Kim, Assistant Professor of New Testament at Westminster Seminary California, fills in during Pastor Brown's series on the Drama of Redemption. Pastor Brown will bring us the evening meal from Philippians 4.4-9: "Peace and Meditation," as he continues preaching through Paul's "Epistle of Joy."