Redemption as a Schoolhouse Drama
As the youth minister began the well-worn story of the drawbridge to illustrate the meaning of redemption my mind drifted back to the events of the last week. That drama started with a surprise parcel that came in the mail.
Without consulting the powers that be the president of the local student led organization had determined to set up a full-blown business account in the name of their organization. Did I mention that he also ordered checks and an IRS Employee Identification Number (EIN)? Once the account was opened it generated mail from the IRS that came to the school address. The first parcel for the account failed to arouse suspicion, but the notice from the IRS set off my internal alarm bells. Now the advice of the administration was required.
Wrath. The story of redemption is a story of wrath, and the students had provoked the wrath of the administration. It was my duty to report to the supervisor this activity was unauthorized. When the VP got wind of the situation, his terms were absolute. The account must be closed by the end of the day or the student would be expelled.
Compassion. Compassion is the other side of the story of redemption. Someone must care so much that they put themselves in the middle of the fray to bring an end to the justifiable wrath. The ringleader was not available when the directive came down. So, I had to find out where the account was opened and who had signed for deposits. Then I had to haul myself to the bank to do some university business.
“I am here to represent the university, and the account must be closed today. We must have proof of a $0 balance.” Thus I greeted the personal banker at the branch where the account was opened. With the help of a different student and some additional persuasion the kind personal banker closed the account that day.
Someone later asked who it was that reported the incident. Yes, I appeared to be on the side of dispensing wrath. Perhaps no one but me knew that I was also on the side of showing mercy. I like to think that by closing the account before 5 PM that day I was insuring that one student was not expelled.
As the youth minister was wrapping up his rendition of the drawbridge story, I reread a familiar Bible verse, II Corinthians 5:21: For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.