“For Free!” A Devotion on Ephesians 2: 8, 9

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— not the result of works, so that no one may boast.” —Ephesians 2: 8, 9

Do we take for granted those things in life that come to us for free? Since our society tends to commercialize everything, it becomes easy to value only that which we paid for or worked for.

There is a poignant song by the folksinger Joni Mitchell called “For Free.” It is a song from early in her career based on her experience of hearing a street musician playing the clarinet on a street corner in New York’s Greenwich Village.

Nobody was paying him any attention, even though he was playing “so sweet and high.” The passersby ignored his free gift of lovely sweet music because he was neither famous nor on their TV.

She pondered the difference between his playing for free compared to her own commercial performing, and she felt invited to respond to him. She thought about going over and asking him for a song, or perhaps harmonizing with him. Finally, she leaves it an open question whether she crossed the street to join him, or just continued on her way when the light changed.

Do we value free music, free fresh air, free clean water, or do we take such things for granted? For Christians, who affirm that God’s great love for us in Jesus Christ is a free gift, it is worth considering whether we have taken stock of that gift’s true value. Remember the saying: “The best things in life are free!”

Prayer: Gracious God, we thank you for your free gift of love. May we always appreciate its value, and what it cost you, through Jesus Christ our Savior.

((This is my United Church of Christ Daily Devotion for October 22, 2018. To see the original go here. To subscribe to the UCC Daily Devotional and receive it every day by e-mail go here. A YouTubevideo of Joni Mitchell in a live 1970 performance of “For Free” can be found at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LaOSbBcPlfY)

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