Cross Gaits, Blacko: Good Ale Tomorrow for Nothing

The Cross Gaits Inn at Blacko has a sign above it’s door that reads:

JSE Good Ale to Morrow for nothing AD 1736

Those Georgians clearly had a sense of humour. If you come tomorrow, you’ll receive good beer to drink at no charge. Tomorrow, however, never comes. Until then, you’ll need to pay for it. Indeed, there have been approximately 102,930 ‘tomorrows’ since the pub was built. Contrast JSE’s Georgian wit but limited generosity with Isaiah’s magnanimous offer:

Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. (Is 55)

Although the Christian’s real refreshment comes in the next life, Isaiah’s offer of spiritual sustenance is available right here and now. Interestingly, a gait is an archaic term for road. This old tavern stands at a cross roads; so too does Isaiah. In which direction will you go?