Bearing the Fruit of Redemption – Focus Scripture: John 12:24
Within the past few years, the lives of many young men and women have been lost to senseless acts of violence and lopsided justice. Their hopes and dreams have been planted too soon in the soil of deep sorrow. Theologian Cone (2011) suggested that their deaths were redemptive in some way. If redemption flows from resurrection in the manner that Cone described, my question is this: What exactly needs to be resurrected for redemption to occur?
For one thing, I submit to you that conversations need to be resurrected. We, as members of the human race, need to sit down and talk to each other. Conversations must take place between the haves and the have not’s, between the blacks and the whites, and between the males and the females (Galatians 3:28). Those who perceive themselves as slaves must communicate with those who regard themselves as free. All manner of people from different walks of life must begin to relate to each other, for we are all one in Christ.
We need to dig a little deeper and look a little closer at the causes of violence, injustice, and other critical concerns. Lovers of truth need to start to examine racism and poverty under a super-powered microscope. Prophets, in the manner of Habakkuk, should be exposing what’s been undercover for too long and advising folks to make the inconsistencies apparent; write the vision on tablets so that a runner can read it! (Habakkuk 2:2).
Today’s scripture suggests that for something to be reborn, something first has to die. Maybe a new vision for peace among God’s people is what should be reborn. All people are made in God’s image! All lives matter! We are all members of the same humanity for whom Christ died – once for all. And once that realization has sunk in, perhaps the ground will be fertile enough to bear the fruit of redemption and the seed will not have been planted in vain.
God of Justice, we pray that the lives of our slain brothers and sisters have not been lost in vain. Amen.
Cone, James. (2011). The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.