I was born and raised in the north, Illinois and Maine and it’s while I lived in Maine I learned the value of saving all of my aluminum cans and at the end of the week head over to a “Redemption Center” where they would pay me 5-10 cents for every can. This was a great way to make some extra cash and recycle the used cans versus throwing them away where they would cause harm to the environment. The cans I brought in were then made new again and would soon enough be filled and available for someone who is thirsty.
As I reflect on this, just a few days prior to Easter, I am again reminded of the redemption that took place through Jesus. The word redemption is derived from the Latin word, “ redemptionem (nom. redemptio ) “a buying back, releasing, ransoming,” This is exactly what Jesus did when he died on the cross. Our sins; everything we have ever done or plan to do that is not of God was handed over, nailed to a cross and died through a sacrifice. A sacrifice for every single one of us. While I would just simply hand over a bag of cans for a few dollars, Jesus gave His life so we would all have the chance to live, be new and share with “Others” what God is doing in our lives.
At The Salvation Army, we see so many broken lives transform, right before our eyes as they experience the love, compassion and truth that is our ministry. A ministry founded on Jesus. Yes, we serve individuals with food, shelter and clothes, resources and mentoring, but most importantly it’s the sharing of Christ and the revealing of His love for them. It’s allowing them to see how incredible they are no matter their past. It re-emphasizing they have been redeemed; their mistakes have been handed over and their worth has been covered!