Before the hot dogs, a little Park Preaching:
“Innocent people get caught up in our sin. Everyone here knows what “sin” is, right? It’s our mistakes. It’s our evil. It’s our decisions to not do good. I don’t have to explain this, right, you all know what sin is?”
Plenty of hands up.
I continue: Well, it’s also part of our nature. It’s our bent. And, you all know innocent people, too many times, reap the results, the consequences of our sin.
How many here admit their sins hurt and have hurt other people? (Hands up.) So, you know what I am talking about. God has something for you—and for you who have been hurt by the sins of others.
Well, here in Isaiah 25, God has something for those who had reaped the results of sin and rebellion against God. Especially the innocent, who had to share in the punishment, the exile, when God dealt with their sin. There would be a time when God would make a feast for all peoples on His mountain.
(Strange, it seems every time God does something to heal and forgive and restore His people, it’s over food—do you wonder why CPC in The Hill does so many things related to food!)
God promises that “he will swallow up” the “covering that is cast over all peoples, the veil that is spread over all nations.” And what is this “covering,” this “veil”? It is death. For, Isaiah tells us in the next line: he “will swallow up death forever.” This is the end of sin. We, right here in the Hill, have seen too much death. We know this covering because we have seen it. This is the veil that hangs over us: Death. Death from violence. Death from bad (sinful) decisions. Senseless. Needless. Death.
God promises he will take this away. And we hear, “the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces.” Tears are what we feel when the results of sin hit us, our sins, the sins of others, the sin that infests our lives and community: tears from fatherless homes, tears from lose of loved ones, tears because life is hard and lonely. God will wipe away those tears.
And, God will take away “the reproach of his people.” We all know what shame is, do we not? Anyone here felt shame, shame because of what you have done? (Believe it or not, plenty of hands went up all around, even from a few of the men.) Shame because of what has been done to you? (Again, hands up.) Well, God promises to take this reproach—the marks of sin—from you.
Here’s that promise, on that day, after all our waiting and wandering, God will save us. He will bring us salvation. “Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation,” Isaiah writes. You see, though, God has already begun removing the veil of death. He has already begun wiping away the tears. He has already taken away your shame. Because Jesus has already paid the debt we owe. Jesus has already remedied the sin that separates us from God and from one another. Jesus, God’s Son, has already died on that cross to take away your shame, to take away sin and death’s reproach. All you need is receive this gift of salvation, the forgiveness of sins. God has already brought salvation to His mountain, to this Hill.
And, God has provided a place, a church, to find strength, be encouraged, discover hope, find a family . . . the place to be assured that God has brought this salvation to you, that he is wiping away your tears and has taken away your shame . . .
Wasted Blogger, Chip M. Anderson
I am the pastor and church planter for Christ Presbyterian Church in The Hill; a flawed practitioner of Wasted Evangelism. I am learning about Wasted Evangelism through my experience in The Hill and through the good people of CPC in The Hill.