A few construction workers were pouring a new driveway for us. They were diligently working in the hot sun, and I knew they could use some refreshing beverages. The first time I offered to get them something to drink, they politely declined. But the second time, I actually took a few bottles of icy water and soda with me. As I held them out and offered them again, their faces lit up and they happily took them to enjoy.
What made the difference? Perhaps they simply couldn’t refuse the chilly bottles of refreshing, bubbly soda beckoning them to drink (just like a commercial)! But I think they were swayed because they understood that I really meant what I said- I was happy to share a beverage with them. Add to that the awareness that, well, the bottles were right in front of them, so they “might as well take them since she’s brought them right to us.”
Isn’t this what God did with Jesus? Since creation, God had tried to show us that God’s love is for all of us, that God’s love is all around us, that God’s love is even within us. God showed this love through creation and stories and mysteries. Most of the world declined to partake. So God said, “I really mean it!” and brought us that love through Jesus. Right here on this earth, for us to witness ourselves. Right here for us to gratefully accept. Right here, promising us that he will never leave us. Right here within us now. God did this in the hopes that we will all say, “Might as well take this love shown and shared through Jesus, since God brought him right to us!”
Yet, as freely as God offers this gift of love, there are still many who are unaware that this is is being offered to them. Life hasn’t given them many opportunities to see the loving face of Christ in a helpful stranger, to understand the unwavering love of Christ through a nurturing mentor, or to feel the healing love of Christ from a steadfast friend. How might we become any of these in order to make Jesus’ presence known more readily?
May we live each day with such refreshing, visible love that people will be drawn to it and recognize their thirst for it. May we love so genuinely that people will know we really mean it. May we live so generously and graciously that people will see God’s love so freely offered and say, “There is the love of Christ, right here, for me- might as well take it!”