March 15, 2022

Regarding Free Services…
Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money , Come buy and eat. Yes, come buy and eat. Without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1, NKJV)
Have you had to buy gasoline lately? What about groceries? When you last visited the drugstore did you notice how much higher things were? A pair of shoes for your child can break your budget and we won’t even talk about purchasing essentials to care for your home or family. The high cost of living is getting higher by the day it seems. I heard someone say recently “We can’t even afford to die, with the price of funerals going up along with everything else!” We laughed, but it’s not funny. It’s difficult to cover even the basic necessities of life anymore. We do the best we can and do without the things we can. Clearly more and more this life and world seems more fitted for the rich than the poor or those with moderate income.
It’s a joyful and reassuring word we read in Isaiah where the Lord extends an invitation to come and receive the staples of our spiritual and soul life without a cost attached. There is not much we come across in this life where money isn’t needed. Money can make the difference between receiving and not receiving, having, and not having something needful, even the greatest necessity and staple.
This passage in Isaiah reminds of Seminary life in Fort Wayne, Ind. where my husband was a student. In addition to dorms, classrooms, chapels, lecture halls, were two buildings, one served as a clothing bank and the other as a food bank where the students and their families could shop for whatever they needed, free of charge. Once, when we were showing a new couple around campus we arrived at the clothing bank. How their eyes lit up as we went from room to room where table after table held household items, a room with nothing except furniture, rooms where clothes hung on hangers and lined shelves. Rows, and rows of shoes in all sizes and styles caught the wife’s eye. It was hard for them to believe they could just take whatever they needed without cost. We all got a good laugh as she began putting shoes into her shopping bag once they understood everything was free.
God has provided a place for us to receive like that, a place we can come and receive whatever we need, without cost, where even the poorest of poor can come and not be turned away. As we consider life, what do we need? Strength, peace, hope, comfort, patience, courage, healing, faith, endurance, grace, mercy, forgiveness? With our Lord there is rich food and drink; whatever we need is there and we can eat from this table and draw from his bank. Let’s Pray,
Thank You, Lord, for providing all we need for this spiritual and soul life and our income does not keep us from having or receiving. Amen
For Examination and Reflection:
What do you need to receive from the Lord’s banquet table? Will you take him up on his invitation? It’s free!
How will you incorporate today’s message into your plan of self and soul-care?

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