Monday, 20 August 2018

Much better offer than January sales

DO you remember the day when the January sales really did begin in January? It seems today that some of those sales begin before Christmas, or even on Christmas Day itself (at least when it comes to online retailers). How times have changed!

But “sales” have always been popular — the concept of being able to get a fantastic deal on some much-wanted item has had its appeal for many years.

Of course, given our consumer-driven society here in the 21st century western world, this has only intensified.

But what is it that is so appealing about these sales? Or, as the Guardian put it the other year: “Why are we such suckers for a ‘50% off’ sign or an ‘unrepeatable’ special offer?”

Some argue it is our “hunter” instinct — we love hunting for the best deals. However, the fact remains that far too often we are simply caught up by too-good-to-be-true offers and end up purchasing things that we convince ourselves will make our lives better, only to discover that we didn’t really need them in the first place! Of course, by the time we realise this, it is often too late and we’re stuck with that unnecessary purchase.

It is now a few weeks since we waved goodbye to Christmas and the January sales are also coming to an end. However, within the church calendar we find ourselves in the season of Epiphany.

The word “epiphany” is often used to speak of a moment when someone has a sudden or significant realisation — a revelation!

The Epiphany that church tradition marks in this season is the revelation of Jesus Christ to the non-Jewish Magi (the wise men), an annual reminder that Jesus Christ came for all people, everywhere.

Now, while this might be true, the fact is that each one of us, if we are truly to benefit from the coming to earth of Jesus Christ, also needs to have an epiphany moment. We too need to realise that God sent his Son, Jesus, for us.

He is making us an unrepeatable special offer of a relationship with himself, one in which we might discover fullness of life. A life that has true meaning and significance and that will continue past the grave and into eternity. Something that will truly make our lives better… something that we really do need.

I wonder, as January draws to a close, what amazing offers we have responded to? Have we been caught up in the sales and grabbed a bargain? Or perhaps we’ve had an epiphany regarding how much we’ve spent on things we didn’t really need! Either way, I hope that we might have another epiphany regarding Jesus Christ.

As 2018 marches on, have we taken up God’s offer of a relationship with him — something that we all desperately need, something that will truly make a difference in our lives and something that is freely available through Jesus Christ?

If not, why not check out this offer by reading John’s gospel in the Bible.

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