We think it’s funny to make light of another person’s incompetence. We make our thumb and forefinger into the shape of an “L” and proclaim them a “Loser.” To be a loser means to suffer loss, losing something of value whether a game or one’s dignity.
Yet as I reflect on yesterday’s blog
subject – despair, I can only conclude that we are hard-wired to hope. When we experience loss, we look for redemption. All the heroes in the Bible suffered great loss and redemption. Adam lost perfection, Noah lost the dry earth, Abraham lost his home, Moses lost his reputation, David lost his best friend, and Jesus lost his life.
The pain of loss is a universal part of the human condition. Religions like Hinduism and Islam try to explain the vagaries of loss with concepts of karma and fatalism. Only Jesus introduced redemption into the equation.
The key to understanding the kingdom is to look for the grace notes of redemption behind every story of loss. We, with the disciples, look for the kingdom in the political arena. But when he described the kingdom, Jesus talked about lost things: pearls, sheep, and treasures. Their value was restored when they were found.
If we will stop viewing life from the standpoint of the loser and the victim and begin anticipating the ways in which Jesus will redeem them, we can begin to act as the kingdom citizens he intended us to be.
Yes, to be human is to lose. We lose our jobs, our health, our loved ones, and eventually our lives. But we belong to a redeemer. We sat forlorn and forgotten in the pawnshop of hell and he strode in, paid the full price and redeemed us. That’s the meta-story that you can find everywhere in the kingdom of God. And we, the redeemed, get to partner with him in bringing the magic of redemption to a lost world.