Sunday, Dec 2, 2012
Garza County News

Photo by Jim Plummer

Pastor Scott Richards, First United Methodist Church, Post

The Tune of Redemption

Published Aug. 21, 2012 @ 9:04 p.m.

From the earliest days humanity has communicated with one another through music.  Some call music the universal language.  We don’t really know if the Psalms were ever set to music but it is likely that they were at least chanted.  In my own denomination Charles Wesley took bar tunes and put words that communicated Christian teaching to them.  In this way he sought to make the principles of the faith available to even the most illiterate follower of Jesus Christ.

Wesley would turn over in his grave today if he knew that we had codified his songs and were still singing them.  His whole program was to communicate the age old message of the gospel in a form that was attractive and usable to the common person.  In this way he sought to evangelize everyone and anyone who picked up one of his songs.  Maybe he was the first contemporary Christian artist but I doubt it.  It seems that in every age God raises someone up who takes the way everybody communicates and puts the same message of Jesus crucified and risen into that language.

We live in a day and age when we are blessed with an explosion of music that presents the message of the Gospel in a package that is attractive to people today.  I had the privilege of listening to one of these songs lately.  It is by an artist named "Big Daddy Weave" and the song is entitled "Redeemed."  I wanted to share a few of the lyrics with you.

"Seems like all I could see was the struggle; haunted by ghosts that live in my past.  Bound up in shackles of all my failures wandering, 'how long is this going to last?'  Then you look at this prisoner and say to me, 'Son, stop fighting a fight.  It’s already been won.'  And I’ve been redeemed. You’ve set me free."  The song goes on to say, "Because I don't have to be the old man inside of me 'Cause his day is long dead and gone because I've got a new name, a new life, I'm not the same and a hope that will carry me home."  And the last line of the song says, "Jesus, I am not who I used to be because I am redeemed! 'Cause, I am redeemed! Thank God, redeemed."

I love the words to this song.  Partly, I love the words to this song because they tell my own story.  Like the artist I have been haunted by the ghosts of my failures.  I have often been told I am unworthy and for good reason.  But I am not who I used to be.  I am redeemed.  And when I still fall and fail I still praise God that the Lord is not through with me yet.  But most of all, I thank God that I am redeemed.  Jesus has paid the whole price and no longer is it I who live but Christ who lives in me and through me.  I am redeemed.

I can hear the apostle Paul singing this song.  Charles Wesley would have bellowed it out.  I think Simon Peter might still cry tears of joy every time anyone mentions being redeemed.  For each of these their story is not unlike the story of Big Daddy Weave.  Paul persecuted the church and murdered those who followed Jesus Christ.  Simon Peter denied Jesus on the night in which Jesus was betrayed.  Charles Wesley knew what it was to be a failure.  I know that I fail often and large.  But we have all been redeemed.  The price Jesus paid was enough for us all to be redeemed.

If you are reading this article just to try and get away from the accusations of your own mind,  if you find your own life being haunted by fears and failures, and it seems that the people that have been around you all your life continuously call you a failure then I have good news for you.  Jesus has already won the fight.  You no longer have to accept the world's judgment about you.  You no longer have to fight on in a lonely fight.   You too, can be redeemed.

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