When I was growing-up my grandmother collected S&H Green Stamps. The grocery stores would give-out these little green stamps for every dollar you spent at the store.
The stamps would go into a book and could be saved-up until you had enough to redeem them for something in the S&H Green Stamp Catalog. When you were ready to redeem your stamps, you would go to the Redemption Center.
My grandmother would often tell me to find something I wanted in the catalog and give me enough stamps to buy it. She had shoe boxes full of those filled books of Green Stamps. I always enjoyed looking through the catalog trying to decide what I wanted, then going into the city to redeem those stamps.
Webster’s Dictionary defines redemption, in part, as the act of buying something back or regaining possession of something.
When I redeemed those Green Stamps, I was regaining the value placed in them from the purchases made by my grandmother.
God placed value in every piece of creation, especially human beings, from the very beginning. God planted the seeds of greatness in all of us.
When we strayed-away from God, we lost our goodness or wholeness, but not our value. Even when we were in sin (spiritual separation from God), God valued us enough to redeem us with His own flesh and blood, Jesus Christ.
It is really something to realize that our Creator has always loved us, even before we knew God existed. It is especially humbling to realize that God was willing to become incarnate among us to redeem our lost goodness and reaffirm our real value.
Imagine, God made us so powerful that we can invent, design, dream, build, love, nurture, and so much more. God’s love for us is so powerful that God would not give-up on us.
Have you given-up on God? Have you given-up on yourself? Like a young Sunday School student said, “God made me, and God don’t make junk!” God forgives you.
Now you can forgive yourself. God has already redeemed you. It’s your turn to accept redemption. You are wonderful in the eyes of God.
Why not accept that gift? The next time you look in the mirror, you can say, “I know who you belong to. You are a child of God. The family resemblance in unmistakable. Now go and live into that promise!” Thanks be to God!
Blessings and Peace,
Rev. Dr. David Bridges is the pastor at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Grove. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.