Sunday, September 1, 2013

Redemption not just Salvation

The work of God is one of Redemption.  Sadly we often replace this with a cheap salvation.  God's redemption is relational, but it is also one that involves all of creation becoming like God intended.  This salvation that we too often speak of is personal, but it ends there, with the individual.

The pitfalls of a God who is only focused on individuals are many. We may become focused on comparing ourselves to others, judging their actions while excusing our own.  We can become focused on rejoicing in our own perceived ends and fail to see God asking us to help in the struggles of our world.  We might see this world as nothing more than that which is here for us, personally, as reward for being "God's chosen."  All of these have a commonality - a focus on self.

We must realize that Jesus tells us time and again that it's not about us, but about Love and service.  The call to love others and serve them as if they are God is what Jesus speaks of when he speaks about separating sheep from goats. Of course none of us always see everyone and treat them as we would if they were God incarnate.  This means we're all goats, aiming to be good goats, but goats covered by grace regardless.  So, if we are all goats, and if all are to be seen as God incarnate as well, then we end up right back at Redemption.  We're all working as God, for God, covered by God, who is working to redeem and renew everything through our labors and God's grace. This is the core of our faith, the work of redemption as seen in Jesus Christ, God incarnate and continuing through us who are called by that name.