A Journey Worth Taking: Redemption

I missed a post last week, though I kept my reading schedule.  Anyway, this post will cover the three chapters in the section “Redemption: Help Along the Way”.

You can read more about what I am doing and see a schedule for reading/posting here.  First post is here.  Second post is here.  Third is here.  The fourth is here.  The fifth is here.

The three chapters (12-14) that make up this section on Redemption have been some of the best of the book so far.  This section follows Drew’s discussion of the impact of Creation & the Fall on our calling and our purpose in this world.  Here, we find great encouragement to pursue calling in light of a renewed relationship with God through Christ’s work on the cross.  This caught my heart’s attention:

With people I am usually either safe or known – but rarely both at the same time.  I am safe, in other words, because they don’t know the real truth about me…Jesus changes all this…With, and because of, Jesus the Redeemer I am both fully known and completely safe.  At the cross, Jesus met me at my very worst.”

These are sweet words to read, because I think we know the truth of the first statement.  And from here, Drew declares the freedom that we experience to discover ourselves and our calling.  In this way, we find our identity from our Redeemer rather than from a broken self-image or response to shaping of others.  But this isn’t about a second chance or Jesus setting us back on the right path with everyone holding their collective breaths in the hopes that we don’t fail again.

The Second Adam [Jesus] is our powerful Friend, into whose wise hands God has placed all things, for our good…It is not enough to have a friend ordering our circumstances.  We need this friend walking alongside us as we make our way.  More than that, we need this friend inside us, changing our motives and removing our fears, so that we learn to grow through the sometimes traumatic circumstances he orders up.”

And then comes the paradox of Christian calling:  we will find ourselves more fully in relation to the shared calling of God’s people to look for and work for the coming of God’s Kingdom and the return of shalom (this is not so much about personal peace, but universal harmony and flourishing).

“…if the Caller is busily at work restoring harmony everywhere, then I must be involved in that task wherever he has placed me.  For I will know myself only as I labor alongside my Maker.”

What a powerful reminder about what life can and should be about – a life that is caught up in the work of the Redeemer; a work that is personal, but is so much larger than that too.  I am thankful for these words from this book.

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