What is redemption?
The other night we watched the movie, “Blood Diamond”. It’s a pretty heavy movie to say the least. The movie points out some of the darkness in the world, yet it speaks of redemption. It’s a powerful movie, if you can handle the language and the violence. The movie takes place in Africa and goes deeply into the diamond trade, the lives of child soldiers, and the horrible atrocities brought on by greed. I watched the movie on the edge of my seat, hoping for something good to come. I wanted redemption.
I went to bed and felt pretty heavy. What a movie to watch the night before Easter. In my bed I had this heavy feeling and kept thinking about what a messed up world we live in. Hello….child soldiers? Hello…. How many kids die every day? Hello….greed? It is so ugly. How does God tolerate it?
The next morning, Easter morning, I got up to go to church and led worship. I sat at the piano and I saw something amazing.
My church is full of drug addicts, ex-cons, and those that have hit the bottom.
Let me get a little more explicit. My church is full of people that have lost their children to their addiction, those that have murdered, stolen from you, robbed your mother, hurt your daughter, danced for you on the Internet and lived off your taxes. My church is full of people that have hurt others in a serious way. My church is full of ragamuffins, sorry Charlie’s, and those that have fallen short of success.
Sunday, I led worship as usual, except it was Easter. It is the day we celebrate redemption. It’s the day we celebrate the fact that God did not come to condemn or judge, but to give new life. Jesus conquered the grave! He conquered sin and death. It’s a day about new life. It’s the day that my church soaks in to their core.
As I led the music, I looked up into the balcony. There were about seven men standing in the balcony, all recovering drug addicts. I watched them because they were not acting normal. These men were not only singing, they were not only dancing…. but they were holding hands…. above their heads… and dancing together and….
it was beautiful…
it was redemption,
and it was Easter.
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
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