Friday, April 22

Redemption Value

Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come. --2nd Corinthians 5:5

Ah, springtime--the extended number of daylight hours, the up-cropping of wildflowers along the interstate, and of course, the strawberry pie sale at Marie Callender's! I can enjoy mouth-watering, ruby-colored berries in a delectable glaze for a mere $8.99 (plus pie tin deposit.)

The pie tin deposit is a way of ensuring that the tins return to their place of origin. If one were to collect enough tins, the value could be redeemed for an entire pie. Furthermore, the pie tins are imprinted with a Marie Callender's logo which prevents people from trying to redeem a pie tin which may have been purchased elsewhere.

God gives each of us a very specific purpose for our life on earth. He gives us each the spiritual gifts required to carry out that purpose and represent him. The way those gifts and talents are combined give us our Christian "flavor" or personality. No matter what flavor we are, we are all the same in the sense that we have been given the Holy Spirit. Think of it like the pies at the bakery--no matter how many different flavors there are, each one of them rests in a pie tin that reads "Marie Callender's".

In some ways, Christians are a bit like those pie tins. As the context of 2nd Corinthians 5:5 explains, our true residence is not here on earth, but rather, in heaven with Christ. Our time on earth is only temporary until we are called home to be with God. We have been bought with Jesus' blood, and for those of us who believe in the work done on the cross, we have been given the Holy Spirit. We belong to Jesus--we are marked with an imprint that identifies us as residents of the coming kingdom of God.

Perhaps this is a rather unspiritual analogy, but it helps me remember 2nd Corinthians 5:5! It also reminds me to "taste and see that the Lord is good". Country singer Andy Griggs sings that heaven could be a sweet as cherry pie, but I happen to think it might be more like strawberry glaze.



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