I went into Chesterfield on Saturday to meet a friend. As I waited outside Costa Coffee, where we had arranged to meet, I stood still and listened and watched and heard and saw people being busy going nowhere. I was once one of them, before Jesus rescued me and now I seek to reach people to let them know they are “busy going nowhere”. This is one of the songs my mum used to sing:
Shopping is one of the things we humans do to give us a “buzz”. We in the west live in a consumer society, where identities are built largely out of things and we are all encouraged to “shop till we drop”; to “seek solace in material possessions”. To keep the economic machine moving, people have to be dissatisfied with what they HAVE; hence, who they ARE.
But our message, as Christians, is that our Identity is in Christ and all we need to do is to seek God. Psalm 37:4. We need to share this with the people God has put us amongst.
My friend had bought a “birthday” card for a relative. The creator of the birthday card was Chrysalis Cards and I was reminded of how God had spoken to me about how when we are Born Again (John 3:3-5) it is like the transformation from being a caterpillar to being a butterfly. We are, if you like, born like caterpillars and see things from a very “earthly” perspective, but when we go through the metamorphosis (Chrysalis) stage and are born again/transformed (Romans 12:2) we become like the butterfly (new creations) (2 Corinthians 5:16-18) and see life from an elevated and freer perspective. Interesting too that my friend had bought a “birthday” card, since the message here is about “birth” from above.
Later my friend’s family brought a statuette into town for her to return to the man from whom she had received it, because her family did not like it. She had been attracted to the statuette because it reminded her of Jesus. The face was gentle and bearded with long flowing hair and there were hands but, as her husband had pointed out “it had no body”. I was reminded that we, as Christians (followers of Jesus) are described as the Body of Christ and He is the Head of that Body (1 Corinthians 12:27-28), but sometimes we do not act like the Body of Christ and that must make Jesus sad.
We found the man to whom we were to return the statuette; his stall in the marketplace was situated next to the water pump. The “Town Pump” is a cast iron pump that draws water from a well. It has a large bowl and is set on a tall stone plinth. The market square was used over the years for many public events and it is said that the town pump was used as a platform for public speakers including John Wesley, who preached in the Market Place in 1777. I am reminded that Jesus is described as Living Water in John 4
When my friend gave the statuette back to the man in the marketplace, I noticed that he put it into a carrier bag with words on it that read something like “Warriors Born Here”. Very interesting, since God has previously spoken to me about Jesus being the Bridegroom and His Church being His Warrior Bride.
I am also reminded that we should be the visible presence of God on earth, since we have his Holy Spirit living inside us (think of yourself as the Carrier Bag!).