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  • Shawn Thornton

Hope Comes at a Cost

Wednesday - December 23rd

"Hope is Here" Advent Devotionals - Day 23

Scripture to Read Today: John 3:16-21

For God so loved the world

that he gave his one and only Son,

that whoever believes in him

shall not perish but have

eternal life.

John 3:16

The F.B.I. found one in the junk drawer at the Santa Monica hideout of the notorious mobster Whitey Bulger, which goes to show that gangsters are just like everybody else.


There's probably one or two clipped to your car's visor, and there could be a pile in the lobby of your building right at this moment. God knows your mother-in-law has a folder full of them.


The 20 percent off coupon from Bed Bath & Beyond — a homely and oversized mailer known as Big Blue — is omnipresent, unmistakable, and a joy to deploy in the chain's endless aisles. It's also an oddball marketing achievement where the promotion became a stand-in for the brand itself.


The three paragraphs above come from the December 19th New York Times essay by Glenn Harvey, "An Oral History of the World's Biggest Coupon." The big blue coupon has become a pop culture icon. TV show plots, songs, and whole webpages are dedicated to Bed Bath & Beyond's familiar marketing strategy. Coupon clippers love it. Everyone has seen at least one of them.


Many of us will give gifts to friends and family that we bought during Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. We may have taken advantage of an Amazon lightning sale. Americans love coupons, sales, and exclusive deals. We don't mind paying a high price for something when we think we beat the system in some way or another.


Mary and Joseph would pay the price as others would question their integrity and doubt their claims that the child Mary carried was the Son of God. Their lives would be disrupted as they fled to Egypt from the murderous King Herod. Raising the Messiah in their home would be a privilege, but it would have its cost for Mary and Joseph.


When it comes to Christmas, God paid the highest price for the greatest gift. He sent His only Son to redeem us. God the Son gave up the glory of Heaven to walk among us. Our salvation cost Jesus His very life. On the cross, He took the punishment we deserve. Through His resurrection, He secured for us the victory over the grave forever. Jesus paid it all. He paid the price for our forgiveness and new life in Him. No flash sale. No coupon. No discount. He paid it all.


As you prepare your heart for Christmas Eve and Christmas, consider the cost Christ paid as He came to be your Savior. Thank God for His willingness to send His Son to give you eternal life.


Take the time to pray that others would understand and embrace the love God offers them this Christmas. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are wonderful windows of opportunity for the Holy Spirit to draw others to God through the one born in Bethlehem so long ago!


God loved us so much that He paid a great price for our salvation. Christmas is a great time to remember His love and share it with others!

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