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Saturday, January 08, 2011

redeeming those gift cards

i was working on a talk which seemed to turn scripturally on the word redeemed.

that's when the voices started.

southern gospel quartet voices, each carrying its own old-time harmony to new levels of sentimentality.


(wait for it)

his child, and forever, i am

i had to make the voices stop and the only way to do it was to arrange the classic Fanny Crosby song differently. Hymn #382 in the hymnal got 2 or 3 passes before i hastily hit 'record' on my laptop.

the first recorded version was probably performed better, but the sound quality was terrible because the microphone hadn't been set properly. the second one ended up on youtube.

peace at last.

still, the words continue to reassert themselves:

Redeemed- how I love to proclaim it
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb
Redeemed by his infinite mercy
His child, and forever, I am...

all this proclamation seems to be a bit lost in today’s context. i mean, apart from Christmastime when we hold our heads high and boldly sing of the ‘reason for the season’ do we do a whole lot of proclaiming these days? and yet, there is a sense that failing to proclaim God’s work in our lives is like keeping a gift card in the drawer... the gift giver didn’t pay to establish the value of a piece of plastic so that it could sit in the drawer unused.

the gift card is a token, representing the price paid by another... when produced and redeemed by the recipient, the gift card is exchanged for goods and services at no charge to the bearer. it represents an intended gift not yet received in fullness. on its own or in a drawer with a bunch of others, it is merely a piece of plastic, but redeemed it brings the realization of the intended gift.

perhaps our lives are tokens, representing the price paid by Christ... not only to truly establish our value, but also to bring to realization God’s intended gift: complete and uninhibited relationship for all with the creator of the universe. Jesus has given us life and has paid the price for our freedom- the freedom offered to us all to be used of him by being selflessly given to people in need of that which we’ve already received.

huddled together, though, the freedom to be used is forfeit.

redeemed as his child.
redeemed forever- with no expiry date.
redeemed to be used now.