Redemption is a funny word and not a word I ever can remember using before I became a Christian. Now of course I read about it, sing about it, pray about it and talk about it (although only notably to my Christian friends)
Last week I had the honour and the privilege of taking one of the talks at our Alpha course. I wasn’t meant to and it certainly was a last minute thing. I agreed to do the talk before I actually knew what it was on and before really thinking about the actual location. On the drive there I was utterly dependant on God. I have never been this unprepared to talk in front of people in my life! The last time I preached at Kings I prepared no joke months in advance. I don’t do this sort of thing. My dependence was utterly on Jesus, Holy Spirit and my Father in heaven having mercy on me. I was talking from Glen’s notes and to people he had met the week before and who didn’t know me at all. I was nervous already. Then I got there.
The location of Alpha was a place for me was filled with bad memories from 20yrs ago, a stolen teenage life, a wayward girl who had a hate against the world, Jesus and had walked around with a massive chip on her shoulder – and if anyone challenged it, it never ended well. I walked through the door of my worst nightmare and the place bless it hadn’t changed a bit. The same windows, the same doors, the same smell, even the same toilets. All of this and more brought back memories that really I was happy to leave back 20yrs ago. I called Glen and asked him to pray. I asked a couple trusted members of the team to also pray. Jesus this is all for You and because of You.
There I was in the top room of probably one of the two places in my life I would never want to return to and here I am talking about Jesus. I looked out the window of this top room and talked about my Jesus, Healer, miracle worker, friend and I all of a sudden understood the word redemption.
Jesus redeemed my life from what society would have said ‘not a chance’ and made it something beautiful. He turned something that was meant for such evil into something so good and more than good He turned it into freedom. I walk in freedom – some days it feels like a shuffle but I still move. I stood that night and realised that I know what it means when Jesus came for the oppressed, the down trodden, the outcasts and the broken. My story is not who I am but it is totally who Jesus is. One day I may tell it in full and maybe I won’t but that is completely up to Jesus.
I stood in a room where once I know I cursed Jesus, I made fun of Him, I ridiculed Him, I rejected Him but last Tuesday night I praised Him albeit in the quietness of my heart as I told a bunch of strangers who He was. I praised Him because that He allowed me back to go back there to show not what I can do – but what He can do.
He is a God of Hope and restoration. He is God who comes for me and you. He is a God who loves and never gives up.
I don’t care where you have come from, how bad your life has been, how murky, messed up, broken your life has been, I also don’t care either how good your life has been, God has something way more than this world could ever offer.
You will see me dancing frequently on a Sunday morning in Kings with maybe what seems like a perfect life with my husband and 5 kids. We look young, happening and hip (at least I think we look hip)! We are happy, our kids are amazing but under the layers of God’s redeeming power you’ll hear two stories of how God has saved us from the pit and put our feet firmly on the Rock. I dance because I am free. I sing because the God I rejected over and over again didn’t turn His back on me, not once. I love His people, His church and the unlovable and the untouchable because I know what it is like to be loved by the King. Once you have seen Him and know Him life changes forever.
Redemption – the action of saving or being saved