Redemption

Ruth_BackgroundReligion without redemption is dangerous.

Futile.

Exhausting.

Frustrating.

Disillusioning.

Crippling.

I need more than a code of ethics; I need redemption. You need more than improved morality; you need redemption. We need more than a cause to keep us busy; we need redemption.

I can’t quite put into words how deeply this word is marking me.

Redemption.

It’s music to my ears. It’s light at the end of my tunnel. It’s when you’re watching a movie and the dark music in a minor key subtly makes it’s shift. And you somehow know. Things are about to change.

All these other no-redemption talking heads have mastered the art of saying nothing. It’s time we did something about that. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.”

Redemption is healing. Redemption is a soul-resurrection. Redemption calls things forth that did not previously exist. With people who do not deserve it. With circumstances that are not possible. In ways that are unimaginable.

Redemption.

It’s freedom and hope and finding the winning lottery ticket. Are you kidding me?? It’s too good to be true. It’s mind-bending, destiny-altering, soul-morphing. Perhaps you can’t believe it. But you should at least want to. Maybe you cast aside this whole redemptive narrative of Jesus like another fairy tale. But something in you should at least wish it were true.

I dare you to give the story a shot.

Sometimes life is so dark, so hard, so wretched, so painful, so deathly that nothing less than a God who gives life to the dead will do. Nothing less than a Spokesperson experienced in saying “Let there be light” will do.

Redemption. It’s not just a what; it’s a Who.

I can’t promise my children that they will not be afflicted. I cannot guarantee that they will not taste sickness or sorrow or tears. But I can promise this: that in the end – if you’ll read the story of your life of faith to the end – when you get to the other side, you will weep with joy. Because it’s true. And it’s better than you ever thought.

I dare you to read the book of Ruth.

All you expected were scraps from the dust of someone else’s harvest. And suddenly you find yourself at a wedding feast and the field is yours. All you could imagine was a slower death. And somehow the seeds of the most infinite Life flow through your body. (Read the book.)

Redemption.

God never promised there would be no drama; he promised there would be redemption. His kindness is so deep and His wisdom is so profound, that somehow on a tree we call a cross he pulled the ultimate rabbit out of the worst of hats. And he reaches back into our pain, and our unfaithfulness, and our doubts, and our failings … and he redeems.

He makes bitter waters sweet.

He turns scars into eternal beauty marks.

He takes slaves and makes them sons.

Redemption.