Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Day One: Redemption

The WORD of the Day:   

"O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is plentiful redemption."  --Psalm 130:7

Let Me Give You a Lift:

First day of a new year! Today is the day for New Year's resolutions, good intentions, and putting the past behind us.  I think that the first day of every year might be the day people actually believe in a clean slate--this year I'll do better.  

But it is really hard to keep that energy going as January rolls into February and on into March, and life starts to take its toll yet again.  We cheat on our diet, forget to exercise, don't stay connected to friends and loved ones the way we want...it can get really disheartening really fast. Life is full of uncertainties, and sometimes "Can I really do this?" can be the biggest of them all.  As humans it seems like stumbling, in the little or the big, can have a major impact on our understanding of our own worth.

The poet who wrote the 130th Psalm had some wisdom to impart about that--two certainties to combat our ever-shifting image of self.  First, God's love is steadfast. It does not depend on who we are or what we do (good or bad). God loves when we need it most, and when we want it least. He loves.  And secondly, He can make anything new.  God does not need the ringing in of the New Year to give us a fresh start. God's mercies are new every morning (Lamentation 3:22-23), and He has no maximum number of clean slates beyond which we cannot ask for another chance to be better. The best antidote to an awful day is this: 'Today I am not proud of me. But tomorrow I can be!'

Let's not forget, though, that no one has the monopoly on redemption.  You, the person you wronged, the person who wronged you...God redeems anyone who wants to be redeemed.  Knowing that is a great comfort, but it is also a call to forgiveness.

Give it a Listen:

**As an initial note, I should mention that most Christian artists do not make formal music videos.  Some do, but more often they let their fans make videos as a way to spread the message.  So most of these links are more about the message than the visual.

The first song I chose to share with you is Sanctus Real's "The Redeemer."  The Redeemer is a song about how sometimes we can really stumble our way through life, but wherever we may stray we are always redeemable.  It's not about living perfectly, it's about understanding what makes a life well lived.  My favorite line: "I don't have every answer in life, but I trust in you one day at a time."


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