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An eternal God promised eternal life

January 24, 2022

Daily Scripture

Isaiah 25:6-9; Daniel 12:2-3

Isaiah 25:6-9

6 On this mountain,
the Lord of heavenly forces will prepare for all peoples
a rich feast, a feast of choice wines,
of select foods rich in flavor,
of choice wines well refined.
7 He will swallow up on this mountain the veil that is veiling all peoples,
the shroud enshrouding all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever.
The Lord God will wipe tears from every face;
he will remove his people’s disgrace from off the whole earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
9 They will say on that day,
“Look! This is our God,
for whom we have waited—
and he has saved us!
This is the Lord, for whom we have waited;
let’s be glad and rejoice in his salvation!”

Daniel 12:2-3

2 Many of those who sleep in the dusty land [or dust of the land] will wake up—some to eternal life, others to shame and eternal disgrace. 3 Those skilled in wisdom [or The teachers] will shine like the sky. Those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and always.

Daily Reflection & Prayer

An eternal God would surely give those who love him eternal life. Doubts about “heaven”—one word for eternal life—are a subset of doubts about God. The Hebrew prophet Isaiah said when God has fully restored his rule, he will prepare “a rich feast”—the way rulers in that day marked victories. Later, the book of Daniel more clearly promised resurrection. God promised to “swallow up death forever,” to “wipe tears from every face.” God’s banquet was for “all peoples,” “all nations,” “the whole earth.”

  • By Jesus’ day, many of Israel’s religious leaders were sure only they would be guests at God’s great final banquet. They’d missed a crucial part of the vision. “In one of many expansive visions in Isaiah, God is imagined preparing a banquet not just for the elders on Mount Sinai (cf. Exodus 24), nor even for Judah, but for all the nations.” * Do you ever limit your vision of God’s “banquet” to your own church, nation or ethnic group? How does your heart react to God’s generous vision?
  • Did you know you can view Resurrection Leawood’s stained glass window, with explanatory notes, online? Just click here. Note how the lower right corner of the window depicts the wonderful promise of Isaiah 65:25. Can you imagine the peace and joy of dwelling with God in a setting where “they won’t hurt or destroy at any place”?

Lord God, I do not want my walk with you limited to this time-bounded existence. Thank you for inviting me to participate in your eternal banquet. Amen.

GPS Insights

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley Morgan-Kirk

Ashley serves as the Online Connection and Care Pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. After seven years of higher ed in religion, she finally understands that she can't figure out God (no matter how hard she tries). She’s leaning into the challenge to move from a thinking-based faith to loving God with both her head and heart.

In the Isaiah passage today, eternity with God looks like a party prepared for all people where what was once a mystery becomes crystal clear, where death is forever gone, where tears are wiped from every face, and where disgrace is a thing of the past. It makes me think of my friends Zach and Brit.

For a few years they hosted “Pizza Night” on Tuesdays after work, where there was just one stated rule: “only everyone is invited.” Want to bring a friend? They’re invited. A co-worker? They’re invited. A stranger you just met on the way? They’re invited. All of these scenarios actually happened, by the way! Brit would make homemade pizza for hours until the crowd died down. It was one of the most life-giving gatherings. What I love about the one rule, “only everyone is invited,” is that it named our human tendency to be exclusive. Pizza Night was for all, and the desire to create and maintain that uplifting space was contagious. When I read Isaiah, I think of Pizza Night because I was blown away week after week by the abundant generosity within the hospitality of my friends.

When it comes to eternal things, I am hopeful that God’s heart blows me away with abundant generosity beyond what I can imagine. The only way I can measure that is by the beauty of the human hearts I have experienced that work to invite more to the table, resist dividing lines, and make efforts to see the good and the God in each person they encounter. That’s the closest I can get to understanding that God’s heart has no borders…only everyone is invited.

© 2024 Resurrection: A United Methodist Church. All Rights Reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

* Patricia K. Tull, study note on Isaiah 25:6-10a in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 1129 OT.