To be blunt, I’m not sure I’d want to take Jesus shopping with me. I don’t do shopping in company. Whether it’s underwear or groceries, I’ve always thought there are some things best done in solitude. And the thought of having Jesus along on such a domestic and self-serving venture … well, perhaps not. Yet as I wander the isles of the Queen Vic market each Friday morning, the gospel reading for the day sometimes follows me. Not always, of course. Honestly, my mystical moments are rare. But it happened this past week.
And this prayer (slightly adapted) from Martin Wallace says it well enough.
We wander through the market, you and I, Lord.
You seem at home in the movement and the colour.
We pass the cheap blouses and shirts
and you remind me of the children in other places
used as slave labour to machine these pretty things.
We pass the cheap groceries, the tea and coffee,
and you remind me of those who go hungry
for want of a fair price for their crops.
We pass the exotic fruit
and you remind me of those places and cultures
where you are as equally present as you are here.
We pass the cheap framed pictures
and I see you smile at the variety of abilities and gifts
you freely give to all your creatures.
We pass the cheap watches and bracelets and medallions
and your presence reminds me
of ‘the lilies of the field who neither toil nor spin’
yet are adorned beautifully by you.
Among all of this
your presence and your thoughts
come loud and clear,
Lord of the marketplace.