1 Peter 1:13-21 verses 18-19 – For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
My parents immigrated from Holland to Canada in 1951. They left Holland with two children in tow and I am told, with two suitcases in hand. For the first year here in Canada they lived in Manitoba and were locked into an agreement to work with a particular farmer for one year. They left Manitoba after the first winter because the cold was unbearable, and the living conditions were deplorable. It was with much help from my mother’s sister that they could make their way to Jordan Station, ON to work on a fruit farm. My parents felt that they had a new lease on life.
The stories that I heard at gatherings of other Dutch immigrants were almost hard to believe. Poverty was a very real way of life for many of these dear folks.
The Bible tells of people who fell into poverty and had to sell the family farm, or sell themselves into service, and they desperately needed a way out. Often it was up to a relative to redeem them (see Leviticus 25:25-55), to give them a new life.
Perhaps having lived in poverty for a period of time is what formed and shaped my parent’s response to others who were in need. In some way I am thankful for their struggle that then also led to my understanding and my response to people who are marginalized and in need.
More likely, I believe, it was the power of God’s word that shaped my parents’ lives. My father would teach me that no matter if you were rich or poor, we are all, in a sense, in debt to God.
Our troubles are desperate and our situation hopeless until we knock on God’s door and beg for his mercy. There we will find redemption. We will find that Jesus, our Redeemer, bought us back, at the cost of his precious blood, by dying on the cross. Satan may have had his powerful grip on my life for a time, but the love of Jesus broke the chain and redeemed me to new and glorious life in Christ.
How wonderful it is, Lord, to think that we have been redeemed by your blood. Thank you that we belong to you. Amen.