December 28, 2015

 Scripture Reading: Jeremiah 31:7-14

Hear the word of the Lord, O nations,
   and declare it in the coastlands far away;
say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him,
   and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.’
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
   and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. –Jeremiah 31:10-11

Now what? We, too once again with the advent of Christmas, have been amply reminded who we are, by whose we are. God came and dwelt among us, experience humanness first hand, shared in joy and in sorrow, and remained steadfast in a vision of justice and mercy for all. And we, who have chosen to follow this One who was human and dwelt among us, have been called to make such a vision real.

Redemption does not count, if we fail to claim its prize, but we must understand what that prize is. I routinely shop at a chain drugstore that offers good service and reasonable prices. I even accepted a card that makes me eligible for special discounts and I faithfully let them scan it with each purchase. I am often given literally what seems to be yards of these discounts in my payment receipts each time I check out. I almost never use them. They are often for things I do not use or need, and frankly it is just too much trouble to clip them and remember to use them at the appropriate time. As far as I am concerned the issuance of these coupons is a waste of both of our time and money. I would prefer that they just lower the price on the goods I am buying.

We were not given redemption by God to waste it. God saved us for a purpose: God’s purpose. I believe the heart of that purpose is to establish a world where justice and love rule. God’s redemption is not enticements to keep us in the fold. Accepting God’s redemption is our call to introduce the world to God’s love.

Prayer: Lord, help us to love each other as you love us. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized 
Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council 
of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights