The best is yet to come!
This Sunday, our church took a big step. We moved. Leaving the comfy confines of Veteran’s Memorial Middle School where we’ve been since before I started writing these sermon summaries for The News, we have made our way over to our new temporary worship location at Total Childcare Experience on the corner of 81 and Salem Rd.
Moving anything can be a stressful thing, especially for a church. Will people know we’ve moved? Will God continue to bless us? Is this the right thing?
Well, in our text from Isaiah, God reassures us. He makes it clear that for all of his people — The Best is Yet to Come.
How can I say that? Well, look at our text. Verse 15: “I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator, your King.” This holy, savior God, who made us and rules us, is speaking. We have reason to listen and to trust what he says. But then the next verses go on and give us even more reason, where he reminds us of some of the things he had done — bringing his people out of slavery in Egypt, splitting the Red Sea, destroying Pharaoh’s army without a sword, providing food and water in the desert, giving them the promised land, crumbling Jericho’s walls, making the sun stand still, giving peace in the Middle East.
Those are some impressive things. But God says, “O that? That’s nothing. The best is yet to come.” This is verse 18: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing!”
This new thing he was doing was this blatant demonstration of his love — an act of kindness that was anything but random – a sacrifice that had been planned since the beginning of the world. And the blood of that sacrifice, he says in our text, blots out our transgressions. Verse 25: “I, even I, am he who blots out your transgressions, for my own sake, and remembers your sins no more.”
He blots them out. That’s the same word used to describe what happened to everyone living on earth in the time of the flood – their lives were blotted out — gone. Jesus’ sacrificial blood so completely blots out each of our sins, that they can never be held over our heads again, they can never torture our consciences again, because they have been removed from God’s sight. Remember, he, even he, is the Lord. And he makes a promise. He will not remember our sins.
They are gone. He can’t see them anymore. All he sees now is our perfection through faith, our Savior, and all the good things he prepared in advance for us to do. Having a perfect record like that feels pretty good. Be excited about it. Be proud of it. God loved you enough to sacrifice his son to give it to you.
So whether you’ve been blessed as richly as God has blessed our congregation as we’ve been starting this church, or are strug- gling through a test God has allowed to be put before you, take comfort. You see, the fact is — with this record, with your sins gone and Jesus’ perfection in your possession — there can be no doubt. For you, the best is yet to come. Rev. Jonathan E. Scharf Abiding Grace Lutheran