Saturday, April 12, 2014

Did You Hope for Redemption?

Last night, Friday 4/11, I officiated Lisa and Scott's wedding at Occasions at Stone Ranch in Royse City, Texas. Here are the remarks I shared with them and their guests:

Jews love questions. We even answer questions with questions. Why do we answer questions with questions? Well, why not?

So not surprisingly, Jewish tradition holds that at the Pearly Gates the Jewish equivalent of St. Peter asks you a few questions. One of these questions reminded me of Lisa and Scott. It is short and sweet. Here it is (drum roll), "Did you hope for redemption?"

Huh? What does that even mean?

Well, that is where Lisa and Scott come in. You see, in their actions, in the way they have and do live their lives as individuals and as a couple, Lisa and Scott clarify this question, and answer it too.

First, they clarify what hoping means. You see, one might think that hoping for redemption means you sit back, hope and God, nature, the universe, take your pick, brings about redemption. Not so, say Lisa and Scott. Hoping for redemption means working hard, and actively, constantly pursuing it.

Second, Lisa and Scott tell us that redemption comes only if we pursue collective AND personal redemption. One or the other is not enough. If you experience personal redemption, but everything and everyone around you is not redeemed, your own personal redemption will not last. Conversely, if you are so busy redeeming everyone and everything, but you have not redeemed yourself, not for long will you actually be able to continue redeeming others.

Finally, in the way Lisa and Scott live their lives, they clarify what true redemption means. Redemption does not mean the past is erased, it does not mean we become perfect, it does not mean we vanquish our challenges once and for all. Redemption means that we embrace our past, our present and our future. Redemption means we treasure and cherish the lessons we have learned working through our imperfections. Redemption means we continue to work on improving ourselves and the world around us each and every day.

So there you have it. If you heed Lisa and Scott's lessons, if that is how you live your life, than you too can state everyday with confidence, "I hoped, I hope, I will continue to hope for redemption."

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