By Nathan Kline
I’m a sucker for musicals. My wife and I love going downtown to see the Broadway Across America series roll through Pittsburgh. Every couple of years one of the greatest Broadway musicals comes back around—Les Miserables, full of beautiful music and the most beautiful story.
That beautiful story is one of redemption. The story redeems a former prisoner, Jean Valjean, from his identity as a bread thief to a man who works relentlessly to improve the conditions of those around him. Specifically, he redeems the life of a young girl named Cosette at the request of her dying mother. Valjean brings new life to the girl trapped in an abusive caretaker’s home and hotel. Valjean redeems Cosette and provides her a life she could never have
In the Middle of Adversity
Jeremiah 32 describes a redemptive moment in the life of the prophet. During the Babylonian onslaught, Jeremiah was imprisoned and foretold the king of Judah the tragic events that were about to come upon the city. This was bad news for the king, but it was also bad news for Jeremiah because his fate was sealed with Jerusalem’s. Yet in the middle of this storm, Jeremiah’s cousin approached him, asking him to redeem his family by purchasing land that was about to be confiscated by the Babylonians.
Jeremiah knew he would never see the land, but he purchased it anyway as a way to redeem his family’s value and as a way to redeem the future land of the Lord’s people when they returned from exile.
Redemption Is Uncertain
Jeremiah was uncertain of what would happen to the land after the Judeans were exiled to Babylon, but that did not stop him from redeeming his family in a time of need. Valjean also did not know the whole of Cosette’s life when he took her as his own daughter, but he redeemed her and her mother’s value.
We too are redeemed when we trust the Lord despite uncertainty. Let’s take up the example of Jean Valjean and Jeremiah and become redeemers in spite of our vision.
Nathan Kline is the Associate Minister at North Hills Christian Church in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife, Michelle.