Photo by Dan Melograna /Mansfield News Journal

This past week was a big week for The Shawshank Redemption. The New England tree filmed at the end of the movie where Red finds Andy’s treasure was taken down in a storm. The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite movies of all time. While it is graphic and has many tragic scenes, it is filled with redemption. One of my favorite parts of the movie is the very end (this is a spoiler alert). When Red follows Andy’s directions to the tree Red finds a great treasure that Andy has left for him there. This treasure could potentially change his life. When he meets his friend Andy at the end of the movie, you realize that it has.
The sermon this week focused on James and John and specifically the passage from Mark 10 (if you missed the sermon, you can listen to it here). Tom focused on their changed lives based on Jesus’ teaching and how they don’t seem to need the same things or desire the same things that they needed back in Mark 10.
Jesus gave teachings to the disciples that changed their lives. Think about the teaching from Mark chapter 13 — “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found, and hid. In his joy, he goes and sells all that he has, and buys that field.”
Their lives were transformed by the cross. When Jesus sacrificed his life on the cross, the disciples realized what a great treasure they had in following Jesus. Their lives too were changed. The things that they desired were different than before. They knew their treasure was in Christ.
In the treasure that Red found there was money. But the real treasure that day was the note left by Andy, his best friend:

Dear Red.
If you’re reading this, you’ve gotten out. And if you’ve come this far, maybe you’re willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don’t you? I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I’ll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready.
Remember, Red. Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well.
Your friend. Andy.

Red’s priorities had changed from his youth. He now just wanted his friend. He now had hope in redemption. Do we have that same hope in redemption and are our priorities visibly changed as a result of the cross?

-Rev. Tim Ward

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