Sunday, March 06, 2011

Redemption Stories

I have had several conversations this week that have centered around the theme of redemption. I have a few friends who love redemption stories so much that they are usually disappointed with a story that fails to redeem its characters. I have to admit, I am the same way.

Why is it that we love redemption so much?

I think it has to do with hope. Hope is beautiful. It is life-giving and affirming. It's that tiny spark of a thing in our soul that refuses to go out. We hold onto the idea that there is something of value, something worth saving in all of us.

I just read the book of Hosea tonight. What a beautiful picture of the love God offers to us. The Lord told the prophet Hosea to take an unfaithful wife and have children with her. He wanted to physically depict His relationship with Israel. When Hosea's wife would return to her other lovers, he would pursue and woe her back to him and call her again his wife. How difficult. How amazing. How full of Grace.

It's so easy for us to judge Israel as we look back at her wandering past. But, aren't we the same way? We mock her forgetfulness, and yet we forget God's goodness and provision all the time. We laugh at her stubbornness, all the while fighting to take the reins of our own lives. We aren't so different from Israel; in fact, we ARE her.

And because we are Israel, we can hold to the same promise of redemption the Lord God gave to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. We were born into a fallen world and darkness is in our very hearts. But, there is hope because Light has come to the world and by His Truth we are saved; by His wounds we are healed.

So, I believe we love redemption stories because we, ourselves, desperately need to be redeemed. Whatever our path, whatever our course, whatever our story, it surely includes failure, brokenness, forgetfulness and pain. And, so there is a deep-seated need within us to be restored. So, that chord vibrates within us when we see others rescued from themselves and their wretched choices.

Redemption is beautiful.

Redemption is hope.

Redemption is rescue.

And, Praise the Lord, Redemption is mine.

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