Can’t buy me Love
John 3 :16
Darkness had fallen, and with it a silence over the city broken only by the barking of dogs and the occasional scuff of hurrying sandals. In the house the children went reluctantly to bed - it was time for adult conversation – but as Mary moved between the men to clear the plates, someone knocked at the door. A cautious knock, she thought. Low voices in the outer room made them all uneasy, and they exchanged glances till Peter emerged followed by, of all people, the Pharisee Nicodemus.
He had come to speak with the Master of course, but from their conversation, Mary had no idea why, or whether he found what he was looking for. He posed questions, and Jesus answered, but it was as though the Master was pre-occupied with particular ideas; thinking aloud rather than debating with his visitor. She saw the room fall quiet, other conversations stall, each head turn gradually to Jesus.
He paused, and looked round the room, studying the faces, “For God so loved the world,” he said, “that he gave his only son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but have eternal life. God did not send his son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”
As he spoke, Mary’s heartbeat throbbed in her ears; she caught her breath. ‘What does he mean ?’ she thought, ‘Is he ready to tell all Jerusalem who he is ? Shall I see the Messiah crowned king ?’
Her mind spun on as she poured the wine for them, catching his words in snatches. She felt elated, excited, at the centre of things. What had he said . . . everyone who believes in him will not perish . . . not condemn the world but save it ?
‘At last,’ she thought, ‘This amazing man who has changed my life, will change everyone’s lives. What will he do next ?’
When they arrived back in Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple and began to drive out the merchants and their customers, knocking over the tables of the money-changers and the stalls of those selling doves, and he stopped everyone from bringing in merchandise.
Browsing, Lord, we’re always doing it - on the web, junk mail, cold calls;
everyone’s selling and we’re up for buying.
We all need some things, Lord, but you obviously think it can go too far.
I know I spend time checking out the latest things, feeling my life needs them,
wanting to be as good as my friends,
but I hear you say it’s better to be a pray-er than a pay-er.
Better to care for my friends than compete with them.
Thank you Lord, for showing me a different economy,
one in which your Love comes free – no terms & conditions,
and there’s enough to share and care for friends and family;
even complete strangers !
Help me to understand and enjoy my unearned income of your Love
and to share it with everyone I meet today.
Give me the courage to browse for opportunities to be kind to strangers,
and not to shrink from standing up for Love
in the face of this world’s marketplace mentality.
written by Fiona Campbell