I am going to do something that I almost never do, recommend that you see a movie. The movie is “Saving Mr. Banks,” and it is currently playing in theaters. It is the back story of Walt Disney's nearly 20 year struggle to obtain the film rights for “Mary Poppins” from the book’s author PL Travers.
Disney is puzzled by Ms. Travers extreme rigidity regarding any screen modifications to her characters or story line. Over time, he comes to realize that her reluctance to compromise in any degree is due to the fact that she is stuck in the personal past that she has woven into her books about Mary Poppins. Disney proposes a unique trade-off to liberate Ms. Travers and gain his long-sought right to produce the movie.
“Saving Mr. Banks” is a movie about personal redemption. For many people redemption is a religious word, but it is simply another way to express the idea of a trade-off. Redemption is the act of regaining possession of something that has been lost in exchange for some type of payment or clearing of debt.
I have pastored for several decades and one of the most consistent needs I see in people is the need for personal redemption from their past. Too many people continue to struggle with past traumas, disappointments, failures and regrets. They are unable to fully participate and enjoy their current life because they are dragging a load of unfinished business from their past. Even though it is self-defeating, they tenaciously clutch this “past baggage” and allow it to hinder and contaminate their present.
Father God wants to liberate us from whatever may be in our past by offering us the trade-off purchased by His Son, Jesus Christ. Galatians 3:13 describes the trade-off. “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law of sin and death by becoming a curse for us––for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree’ (i.e. is crucified).”
Most Christians understand that Jesus’ death redeemed them by providing forgiveness for their sins. However, not many realize that Father God's trade-off went much further. All injustice and wrong doing, whether our own or committed against us by the actions of someone else, carries a curse of pain, shame or regret that holds us captive to our past. In dying on the cross, Jesus literally became that curse in order to set us free.
Father God's trade-off is the subject of Psalms 30:11-12 and Isaiah 61:3: “You (Father God) have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have put off my sackcloth and filled me with gladness. To everyone who mourns, You give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of morning, festive praise instead of despair.”
Too many Christians have not accepted this full trade-off offered to them by Father God. Release your past to Him and in exchange He will give you freedom and a wonderful present!
Come join us this Sunday at 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM or 2:00 PM. Our Pastor Karl Malouff will be speaking at all three services.