Day One Hundred Forty-Nine “Green Stamps”
So here’s a test of age for all of you. Do you remember green stamps? If you don’t, you have my deepest sympathy, because they were such great fun. Sperry and Hutchinson green stamps, aka S & H, were a line of trading stamps dating back to 1896, but reached the peak of popularity in the 1960’s. As part of a rewards program, customers would receive small stamps at the checkout counters of grocery stores, gasoline stations, and some department stores. The stamps, issued in a variety of monetary denominations, were perforated with a gummed reverse side. Shoppers would moisten the back of the stamp and mount them in collector books. Then came the fun part, those filled books could be redeemed at a local green stamp store for a multitude of items. There was no greater joy as a kid than Mom allowing YOU to choose the redemption item. I still remember walking into that redemption center with a stack of filled books, then proudly strutting out of that store the proud owner of a brand new guitar. Sheer bliss, indeed! Thankfully, the process of redemption has a richer, deeper meaning to me now.
The word redemption in the Old Testament would immediately impress upon the mind of a Jewish audience a reminder that they were a people redeemed from their Egyptian taskmasters, severed from bondage, and due to that redemption, they were owned by the compassionate God Who freed them, they were HIS children. Centuries later in their rich history, they would again be referred to as “the redeemed of the Lord,” now emancipated from the powerful dominion of Babylonian rule. But with great anticipation, they looked forward to a future redemption, the ultimate redemption from the bondage of sin that their Messiah would provide for His people.
In the New Testament, we witness first-hand that ultimate redemption, to be loosed away by paying a price. Humanity is introduced to the One “Who gave himself a ransom for all.” Man, who was subject to the dominion and curse of sin dating back to the Garden of Eden, is loosed, redeemed, from the bondage of that sin curse “with the precious blood of Christ.” We are “bought with a price,” a HIGH price, the shed blood of the Lamb of God. My life is redeemed from the power of darkness by the selfless Creator of the universe. I am now His, I have been purchased, for He has paid the price in full, all debt is erased.
I cherish this secular dictionary definition of redemption because it so amply describes what has been done for me: the action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment, or clearing of debt. I’m cleared of debt, I stand before my God free from sin’s bondage. What undeserved mercy; what amazing grace! I could never repay what He has done for me, but with joy I can sing to my Savior that “new song,” for He “hast redeemed (me) to God” through the payment of His holy, precious blood. A young girl walked into a green stamp store decades ago and redeemed her treasured stamps to purchase a guitar, my Savior walked to a place called Calvary, offered His blood before His Father’s throne to purchase ME! Redeemed, how I LOVE to proclaim it!
I Corinthians 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s
Lord, help me to glorify You every moment of my life, for You have paid such a dear price to purchase me. Thank You does not seem sufficient to express the gratitude of my heart.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-1311-64789ccdcde4b' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=1311&origin=wordpress.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-1311-64789ccdcde4b' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-1311-64789ccdcde4b' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>