Jesus

redemption.

We the redeemed.

We get confused about what we are redeemed from.

 

Only one thing. Death.

That’s it.

 

We like to complicate it. Lines, parsing words, anesthetizing.

 

The danger is to make redemption a location we are going. We make a stifling, one size fits all Jesus box, then redemption is only something that can be earned if you get in the box and stay there. Life becomes about cutting all the edges and corners out of your life. Life becomes about removal of color and flavor. Life becomes about fear. If you don’t fit in this box, you aren’t pleasing Jesus.

 

Talk like this long enough, and you start to believe the freedom of God looks a lot like Stepford.

 

Reality is that death is everywhere, choking out light, potential, hope, and Jesus redeems us and allows us the space to have more color and flavor and light than before.

 

Death for life.

Death for life.

Death for life.

 

An expansion into a greater reality.

 

Redemption is an invitation. An invitation of hope, the dead parts do not have to stay.

 

The more we understand that we are redeemed to live. Period. The more we can live.

 

How did we get here?

We straddle the line of logic and experience. We learn through story. We feel, touch, taste, and see.

We desire.

We take the stories and try to get them to spread so everyone can share. To make it more concrete, more digestible we make systems, formulas, lists.

Passed around and around and around and it isn’t a story anymore. It isn’t an encounter with the Holy Spirit. It is a process. Dogmatic. No space to wiggle.

 

Problem: you cant explain redemption on a five point card about why you need Jesus to save you.

 

Its too big. Mysterious. Hands on. Heart full. Knock down, drag out transformation. Small, slow, gentle, and big, loud, rough.

 

Never pretty, always beautiful.

 

A meandering poem, not a list.

It will not fit on the back of a Happy Meal.

It isn’t easy to sell.

What is it?

“Come and see.” It’s the best I can do in a 140 character world.

 

We adapted it. The examples of a living God became dead ink. Food for robots.

 

And so it goes. Redemption is no longer a mystical, down to your bones, every corner of your being, transformation.

Life for death.

Life for death.

Life for death.

 

Like breathing.

But more natural…

…and less natural.

Life for death.

Life for death.

Life for death.

 

Once for all of time and once for every second.

 

Time is the best teacher. String enough days together and you start to get a big enough picture to get a glimpse.

 

If you stack enough meals with people, passing dishes, breaking bread, asking good questions. Enough huddled conversations during naptimes, funerals, movies, and weddings. Enough walks with wagons where babies tip over learning to sit, beach towels, cars full of sand, burnt bacon, empty bottles, tears in the kitchen, cake out of the pan on the floor, popcorn, boat rides, iced coffee in laundry rooms, French fries, concerts, bad news, good news, sickness, health, death, birth, valleys, mountains, seasons, laps around the sun. Enough time and redemption begins to take shape.

 

Fuzzy at first, then coming clearer and clearer into view. It becomes almost tangible.

You see the death that is stripped away and the life that takes its place.

 

Its organic, natural almost. Don’t confuse this with easy, or painless. There are no promises of perfection. Only the slow exchange

Death for life.

Death for life.

Death for life.

 

A word of warning for the wise.

When redemption starts to take shape, do not cling to it. Do not make it a box to climb in and ensure your safety and understanding. Let it grow, lest you use your beautiful finding to shave off the edges of new found life, leaving everything duller.

Let every new moment add to it, let it refine you forever. Don’t try to hard to tame it, or force it, let the Holy Spirit take its time.

If you try too hard to grasp at your newly seen redemption you run the risk of killing its growth.

Of turning the very real work of the Holy Spirit in your life into a plastic process that chokes out new life.

 

Don’t trade your death for a shadow of life because you are too afraid of the God given freedom of actually living.

 

Don’t pretend that you understand it. Don’t pretend that you know it more than you think you do. You don’t own this, you didn’t do anything to experience this. Redemption is not your throne to sit on, it is a transformational gift.

 

Show up, with your hands open and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.

 

Death for life.

Death for life.

Death for life.

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