Given by Rev. Madison Shockley February 27, 2022

This is a time to stand up and raise our heads. Redemption is a popular theme in both the Hebrew and Christian faiths.  In ancient times, the first of everything was given to God – crops, animals, and first-born child. People gave the crops and animals to the priests. The children were “bought” back from God through the donation of money. They were redeemed. Redemption can offer hope. Slaves could be redeemed if someone paid money for their freedom. While we have eliminated slavery from most of the world today, there are still remnants that have survived. It took the Civil War to end slavery in the United States. The Bible and Christian faith were used to justify slavery. Today we are seeing local, state, and federal government passing legislation that limits the discussion of the history of slavery and the treatment of blacks. This is so whites do not feel uncomfortable. Blacks have been uncomfortable for decades yet their feelings are not considered. Looking through the lens of Exodus, Jesus is the liberator of those who are enslaved by evil. Christian life is a life that sets one free to set others free. This is the lens that slaves used as Christians and it gave them hope. Christian life was and is about freedom and redemption.