Sunday, April 5, 2015

Where does Jesus shop?

I never knew I wanted a Keurig coffeemaker. I’d played with one in the orthodontist’s office over the years, always treating myself to a free cup to compensate for the thousands of dollars invested beautifying the teeth of my four sons. But I was never willing to get a second mortgage to own a Keruig.
A quick Google search has prices ranging from $129.99 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond to $61.99 at…Tonerworld? I’m not sure I want to drink coffee associated with toner.
Then one day a few years ago my son Kevin procured a malfunctioning $5.00 Keurig from a thrift store and fixed it. I quickly became an addict of the high-priced, wasteful little K-cups, which I buy much cheaper, but just as wasteful, at the Surplus Outlet, which is blessedly close to my new job.
Anyone want to diagram that last sentence? No, me neither.
A few weeks ago, we thought Old K had brewed its last, but Young K whipped out his smart phone and ordered a replacement part, which arrived from Rhode Island by way of San Diego while we waited most impatiently.
This blog post is not really about coffeemakers, but when my pastor used a two-dollah-and-fitty-cent theological word at our Maundy Thursday service, I thought of my Keurig.
If you don’t like theology, skip these paragraphs.
The word is R-E-D-E-M-P-T-I-O-N, a noun, and the verb is “to redeem.” offers these definitions for redeem:  1. to buy or pay off; clear by payment: to redeem a mortgage. 2. to buy back, as after a tax sale or a mortgage foreclosure. 3. to recover (something pledged or mortgaged) by payment or other satisfaction: to redeem a pawned watch.
Redemption happens to us humans; we are the pawned watches that need to be recovered. God is the one who buys us and the price he pays is the blood of Jesus.
To my surprise, the website included a long paragraph from Easton’s 1897 Bible Dictionary: 
There are many passages in the New Testament which represent Christ's sufferings under the idea of a ransom or price, and the result thereby secured is a purchase or redemption…The idea running through all these texts, however various their reference, is that of payment made for our redemption. The debt against us is not viewed as simply cancelled, but is fully paid.
(redemption. Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary. (accessed: April 05, 2015).
Okay, come back now.
Hoping to make my point less muddy than three day old coffee, I want to answer my own question, “Where does Jesus shop?” Where does he shop for followers, for converts, for disciples, for younger siblings to join his family?
He shops at thrift stores, secondhand stores, yard sales, and flea markets. He even picks through the garbage dump. He doesn’t go to Macy’s to look for perfectly functioning people in their original boxes, because there aren’t any anyway. He picks up rusty, crusty, broken people, pays for them with his own life and takes them home and fixes them up.
Jesus shops at the Salvation Army. Bask in the irony.
You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:19b – 20, NIV

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