We aren’t offering coupons for free coffee but for something much more valuable. In this meditation, by my friend Rev. Nathan Carlson, we’re reminded that we don’t have to wait for ‘final checkout’ to redeem our faith coupon; we can experience the Kingdom of Heaven on earth today.
When I was starting out in ministry, one of my first congregations offered a “Children’s Moment” during the worship service. That Sunday’s topic was going to be redemption and the person who offered that moment in the service wanted to talk about redemption as well. They brought in a coupon and asked, “what’s this piece of paper in my hand worth?” One of the kids said, “50 cents!” Another child said, “$3!” And another one said, “I can’t read.” To which the adult replied, “it’s not worth anything in my hand. It’s only worth something when I use it at checkout. Likewise, the redeeming work, the sacrifice of Jesus, isn’t worth anything for us, unless WE use it at our checkout.” At the time I thought that was an interesting metaphor.
It’s still an interesting metaphor, but over time, I have come to realize more and more that this metaphor falls apart pretty quickly. My personal vision and purpose are “to help people learn how to live in the kingdom of God right now, not only at checkout.”
Redemption is NOT just some future hope. Rather it is a historical promise that still has meaning and power in our lives right now and invites us to flow on the tides of grace into the future. Jesus’ actions once and for all time offer to us the hope and promise of a life lived with God for eternity. That eternity has already begun and that we can live in it now is, to me, the biggest prize of all!
It’s not some box top coupon that you can mail away for the promise of a free decoder ring someday. It’s not some newspaper clipping that offers a “2 for 1 deal at checkout” or “50 cents off any item.” No, it’s much more than any of those things. Whether we are actively aware of it or not, the fabric of our lives has been, and right now can be, changed because we are being woven into God’s story of redemption and grace through Jesus Christ.
So if you’ve wondered to yourself, “faith, what is it good for?” The answer is that it’s good right now, it’s good for this moment and for eternity. It’s good for the life and good for the soul. I invite you to start considering what a life lived with that knowledge and assurance can mean to you and in you. What sort of hope, what sort of dreams might God work in and through you as you offer up your life to God’s cosmic story of redemption? And then, may it be so.
If you found this post interesting, inspiring, informative, or useful, please follow us and share. Many more posts to feed your soul can be found on the Navigation Menu. God bless you.
“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. (Matt 18:19)
“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. (Matt 18:18)
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” (Luke 2:14)