by DanWolgemuth on January 23, 2015

The Urban Dictionary defines this new social media propelled phrase as: ThrowBack Thursday.

The letters are a preamble to post a picture or narrative that reflects on some experience from the past. It makes Thursday the perfect day to glance in the rear view mirror, and to include others in that look backward.

Today, a Youth for Christ colleague posted the following text along with a grainy picture from over 20 years ago:

TBT: 15 yrs old. Just back from lock up. Went to see Hellraiser at 161st movie theater in the BX. High on 3 different drugs. Lost. But God. His Love. Redemption. New life in Jesus his Son. New mission. New purpose. Spread His fame. 

For Ray, a glance backward is not a journey to shame. No, for Ray, the look at yesterday is a celebration of grace.

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world… But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (Ephesians 2:1, 4)

For Ray, as for any of us, a TBT glance awakens the sleeping reality of who we used to be. Without grace condemnation runs free, ravaging the present in response to the past. But God, through Jesus, unlocked the chains of damning glances. The lavish love of Christ gave us new eyes to look at the chaos of the past. We marvel at what we’ve been saved from and what we were saved for.

The condemnation of TBT is no match for the amnesty from our King. We are set free… from the lies… from the abuse… from the addiction… from the arrogance.

And so a picture, a narrative, a snapshot of the past becomes the podium from which we proclaim the magnitude of His mercy.

Set free. New life is Jesus.

From shame to celebration. TBT is no match for God’s amazing grace.

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