The Line

1 John 4:10

In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

Twelve people formed a straight line, holding boxes or clothes, each in a different way, and each leaving about two feet in front of them. Each one seemed to wear whatever facial gesture employed the least amount of effort; the only muscles in any of their bodies receiving any electrical signals were those required for standing, shuffling forward slowly, and casually bearing their items for purchase. Every set of eyes laid blank in their sockets and looked away from all other eyes. Breathing was slow, but still uneasy. A barely audible recording of the now deceased Andy Williams authoritatively proclaimed from the upper corners of the massive, square, cavernous building that all other times of the year were less wonderful than this. The shared goal for all in this line was a small counter crowded with various purchase-oriented machines. Behind this counter stood the judge – another human, but a judge nonetheless. Now the true cost would be announced. True payment would be rendered. Freedom would only come afterwards. Each person seemed liberated upon the completion of their transaction. Not one returned to the line.

Sometimes, even in the driest, most mundane, ordinary moments, the reason Christ came becomes clear. He was born to stand in line to pay a price. Our freedom was purchased. Christ was born to be the bodily payment for it, for us.



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