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Isaiah 55:1-3 (NIV)
Invitation to the Thirsty
55 “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost. 2 Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare. 3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live. I will make an everlasting covenant with you, my faithful love promised to David.
Our entire world economy is built on capital. Very few countries in the world do not have some sort of currency that is exchanged for goods and services. Nothing is free. Everything costs someone something. Yet, in God’s economy money is no good. Money cannot buy God’s favor or blessing because… God already owns everything! It shocks us when we get nice, valuable things for free. We wonder: “what’s the catch” or “this must be worthless if they are just giving it away”. But consider the 1987 film adaption of the story “Babette’s Feast”. It gives a wonderful glimpse of what God’s economy is all about. One day a woman by the name of Babette appears at the door of two elderly women in rural Denmark. She offers to be their housekeeper for free and lives with them for 14 years. One day, Babette finds out that she has won the lottery in her native France. Without telling anyone she begins preparing a feast for the two women and their church in commemoration of their father’s 100th birthday. At the end of the story, the sisters and their guests find out that Babette had once been the head chef of a great restaurant in Paris and had spent all of her winnings: 10,000 francs. It was an extravagant act of love and a perfectly free gift. Jesus has prepared an incredible feast for us. He provides pure water that quenches our thirst. He prepares the best wine we will ever taste. For this perfect feast, our money is no good. So, is there a catch? Let us pray: Heavenly Father, help us to understand and live in your new economy. Give us faith to trust that Jesus has given us everything we will ever need and is preparing a life for us that we cannot even begin to imagine. Thank you for the first Christmas when you showed us how much you love us and prepare us for the day when Jesus will come again. In Jesus’ holy name. Amen.