Change, Advent and Christmas – Day 6
An unbeatable offer!
God's Offer of Mercy
Let’s face it – women love shopping – and some guys too! What’s more exciting than going on a shopping spree, especially during the holiday season to satisfy your urge to spend? I have a friend with a sticker on her car that says: Born to shop! And if there’s one thing that the female species cannot resist, it’s a “bargain”. They’ve got the art of sale-maths down to a tee. It’s not how much you spent on that item that counts, but how much you saved on something you don’t need. (Have you counted the number of useless gadgets in your cupboards recently?)
What if they announced on the PA system in the store that all the items on sale are free? Pandemonium! Imagine men, women and children leaving the store with loads and loads of stuff. And then, coming back for more until there’s no more space in the cupboards or house for another item of clothing. Thereafter, you still regret what you couldn’t take. That insatiable hunger for more simply does not disappear.
In Isaiah, we also read about an irresistible bargain. He talks about a special offer that no one has ever been able to beat. It is an invitation to all those who thirst and hunger in a barren desert, to come and buy bread and water. And not only water, but milk and wine too. And the cost? Nothing. Mahala! All paid for. And what’s more, the bread he speaks of here is bread that feeds the soul.
This offer is not a once off. It is repeated in the New Testament. We can get bread for free. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven,” Jesus says in John 6:51. If we eat of this bread, we will never hunger again. When we partake of the body of Christ, as we do during Holy Communion, our hunger is stilled. With all the holiday celebrations up ahead, we are bound to overdo it and are sure to regret it afterwards. But the bread of life which feeds us “until we want (need) no more” is an offer no prophet in the marketplace can beat.