For the last few years I’ve been working nights in a local family run grocery store. Some of the regular customers have become as familiar to me by their food choices as by their faces. Brand name recognition lends itself to a kind of nicknaming as they go through the check out line. ‘Johnny Two Cokes and Mary Marlboro Red” walk in the door and head for their aisle of choice, day after day, with no deviation, never a Pepsi, never a Camel Blue.
I wonder sometimes what my job would be like if the groceries had to be described from scratch by ingredients or after effect. Instead of Coca-Cola, what if Johnny had to ask for a ‘brown syrupy carbonated caffeine beverage that will dissolve a roofing nail if you leave it in a beaker too long.’
Jesus said we would be known as His disciples by the love we show one another. Not by our brand name as Christians, not by our neck jewelry, our bumper stickers, or whatever building we park our cars in front of on Sunday. Just by love. The fruit of His Spirit living in us. The Light of the world coming through the light in our eyes.
Nowadays, because of GMO’s and hidden sugars in our food, it is a wise strategy to read the labels and check the ingredients when shopping for our families. What happens when the people we come into contact with read our labels, our living epistles? Do they recognize love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Jesus is having a special sale today. It’s called marketplace ministry and we’re the featured items. When our neighbors come shopping for treasures in heaven, let’s make sure they get their money’s worth.