News That Will Knock Your Socks Off:
Sermon of the Day
News that Will Knock Your Socks Off
† I.H.S. †
May the grace, mercy and peace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ knock your socks off, and may people exclaim the beauty of your feet as you share with the the Gospel!
One of “those”moments
In 2 Kings 6, there is a great story that illustrates the lesson found in Isaiah’s words today.
A King and His army are determined to capture Elisha and his servant, and his entire army, the infantry and chariots to a place called Dothan. Elisha and the servant wake up, and the servant panics, as the place they are staying is completely surrounded by the bad king and all his minions.
The servant’s reaction, knowing the enemy is so large, so angry, so prepared is to cry out, “Master, we are doomed! What shall we do?”
Elisha’s response is simple, “don’t be afraid,” and then he prayed for the servant’s eyes to be opened and as God opened his eyes, he saw the Army of God surrounding the King and his forces, ready to pounce if need be. Interestingly enough, the prophet of God had mercy on the invasion force, and they would return home.
But can you imagine the servant, go from full-fledged panic to struggling with the change, knowing that God was with them? Can you imagine the joy? We don’t’ hear a response from him but maybe it was because he couldn’t speak….
For the beauty of the prophet’s words, this message that they weren’t alone, was overwhelming.
Such is the news Isaiah is describing when he says that those who bring the gospel have beautiful feet, In Hebrew it is not “hey – those are good looking feet….” It is a jaw-dropping exclamation, beauty that leaves you nearly speechless, a joy of realizing that everything has changed. It is that kind of message, so incredible, so beyond anything you could hope for, it could knock your socks off!
It’s only good news if…
There is a problem with receiving good news, to seeing those beautiful feet that we need to realize. We have to be ready for it.
In our reading from Isaiah, we see the watchmen, the city guards, standing on the wall. They are at war, the enemy is threatening, they are about to be plundered, ransacked and robbed again. The city itself is described in ruins in verse 9, as their Redeemer, their kinsman-redeemer arrives with all of His army.
The servant in Elisha’s story as well, he too was overwhelmed, thinking they were doomed, that there was no hope…
This is why good news is… well… good news.
The gospel is the greatest news of all, those who bring it have beautiful feet because the level of hopeless that we have without it is beyond words.
Think about the damage that sin does to people, as it divides people from each other. The damage that resentment and hatred does, as the unrighteousness of the world crushes is, as we become so defensive, so way of the pain that we isolate ourselves from those around us, fearing what they might do, or say or think.
But it is not only external sin and unrighteousness that affects us, our own sin eats us up from the inside, as it breeds guilt and shame. This too isolates us, it turns our lives into the spiritual equivalent of Pompeii or Jericho, Just a bunch of ruins and ash.
Heck, this can happen even to us, and we know how guilt and shame, resentment and hatred can affect us….we’ve seen it isolate us from others, convince us that everyone else in the world is against us.
Can you imagine how it would be if we didn’t have any hope?
The Lord Demonstrated His power…
Isaiah will then describe that hope we have, that hope which overcomes the loneliness, the hope that reminds us that we are not alone, that we can love again, that God will remove the guilt and shame and help us to know, we are loved, by Him.
Hear the words again.
8 The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the Lord returning to Jerusalem.
9 Let the ruins of Jerusalem break into joyful song, for the Lord has comforted his people. He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord has demonstrated his holy power before the eyes of all the nations. All the ends of the earth will see the victory of our God.
This is what is amazing, no matter how bruised or battered by sin, no matter how isolated, God reaches into our lives. He comes to us, and even as we aren’t sure what will happen next, His very presence brings us comfort, it assures us we aren’t alone, that what we thought was a ruined life will be restored, made whole, made holy.
This is what the His holy power has done already, Isaiah looked forward to it, Mark and the apostles bore witness to it, they became the men with a message, because the power of God, the love and mercy of God was seen at the cross, and understood when Christ was revealed, and stood in their midst and comforted them with the words,
Be at peace!
That is what He is doing in our lives, in these moments, as we hear His promise of redeeming us, and the Holy Spirit brings us to the point where depending on the work of Christ is more important than justifying our sin, or defending ourselves from the sins of others. It is realizing the incredible presence of the God who redeems us, who repairs our ruins, who gives us life.
That is why, despite an army massing against him, determined to capture and enslave him, Elisha was able to tell his servant, “don’t’ fear!” and the apostles could live in a time of great persecution, knowing that the Lord who is with you is greater, far greater than anything we encounter in life.
This is the message that knocks our socks off as we hear it, which prepares us to go and bring the message to others, who will realize how beautiful our feet are, as we share God’s grace, His love and mercy, with them. AMEN!
Posted on May 1, 2016, in Devotions, semons and tagged Abiding in Christ, absolution, blessing, Cerritos, Concordia Lutheran Church, feet, grace, Life in Christ, Socks. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.