Ah! A brief, sweet trip down memory lane. The three Rs: Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic. It just brings back the smells of chalk dust, pencil sharpeners, and cafeteria food. And personally, Mrs. Epworth hounding me to work faster and master my times tables drills! Yikes! I’d love to hear some of your memories in the weeks to come.
But today we want to talk about the three Rs of church: repentance, redemption, and resurrection. Let us start with some definitions so that we are certain of what we are speaking about.
Repentance: (n) the action of repenting; sincere regret or remorse.
Redemption: (n) 1. the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil. 2. the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt.
Resurrection: (n) 1.the action or fact of resurrecting or being resurrected. 2.the act of restoring (a dead person) to life.
Our Christian faith places great emphasis on these three Rs. They are essential to our daily living just like the schoolhouse three Rs. We must be in the practice of remorse for our wrong action, accepting the saving grace of God by leaving our past in the past, and being restored every day into the glorious life Christ wishes for us. We do not see repentance, redemption, and resurrection as one-time acts waiting for a future fulfillment. Jesus says in Matthew 4:17 (NKJV), “for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” We could interpret “at hand” as available or imminent, not something far off. In the Church of God we believe in the second coming and the total submission of evil on earth under Christ’s earthy reign, and we also believe that we are part of establishing that Godly kingdom presently, as we wait for the final fulfillment of scripture.
As we celebrate Easter this year and remember the hope we have in Christ through the three Rs, let us commit to keeping Easter alive in us every day. It is not only the remembrance of the past or a promise in the future, but it is about taking up our cross daily and following Jesus (Luke 9:23).
I cannot rule out a test over this material, so keep studying and practicing the three Rs!