24 March 2020
Like most of you, I’m trying to limit my trips to the grocery store to once a week. At this point the goal is aspirational, as I’m the kind of person who shops in spurts, not full-buggy free-for-alls. This morning, however, I arrived early at my neighborhood store to grab a few depleted perishables. While many of the store’s offerings were fully stocked, I noticed some notable empty spaces on the shelves. If you’re looking for meats, cheeses, canned goods, and frozen foods, you may be out of luck until the next trucks arrive. This makes sense, of course, as folks continue to grab the essentials of meal prep. That said, I was tickled by the unexpected absence of cookie dough, chocolate cake mix, vanilla frosting, and sprinkles. Is everyone celebrating a birthday this week? No. Is there an uptick in baking sweet treats? Apparently so.
In one of the most moving sections of Isaiah, the prophet acknowledges the “shroud” of despair that covers the mountains. Isaiah, no fan of hyperbole, is brutally honest about the suffering unfolding among the nations. As bad as it is, Isaiah also sees the movement of Grace amid the suffering and looks ahead to the day when the Lord of Hosts will destroy the shroud that covers the people. “On that day,” Isaiah declares, the Lord will set a feast of rich food and great wine up on the mountaintop.
The shroud covers us, friends, and it’s far more disorienting than the fog that’s rolled over our neighborhoods three of the last seven mornings. How long will it last? We can only guess. Will it eventually lift? I’m counting on it; I hope you are too. On that day, we will feast together. In the meantime, bake cookies, prepare a cake, lather all of it in obscene amounts of frosting and sprinkles, and share your rich creation with the people you love.
Reading for Today: Isaiah 25