It is a great joy to see all of you this evangelism Sunday, of the All Saints Cathedral. I trust you had a great week, and are we are most grateful to God for the far He’s brought this month.
My heart goes out to all parishioners who for one reason or other may be hurting. May the Lord Almighty comfort you, and restore the joy of the Lord in you.
We shall use Isaiah 53, to reflect on this very important subject that affects the entire human race. The idea of being reconciled presupposes that there has been a form of conflict, which is indeed true! The story of the fall is a familiar one for most of us, and we know that that sad experience in the garden of Eden, came with very severe consequences for the human race; the most serious being our separation from God our Father. As Apostle Paul once wrote, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the Kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient…like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath” (Eph. 2:1-3). What the Apostle states above graphically describes our fallen state.
The fact that all people, without exception, commit sin proves that without Christ we have a sinful nature. We are lost in sin and cannot save ourselves. Does this mean only Christians do good! Of course not – many people do good to others. On a relative scale, many are moral, kind, and law abiding. But on God’s absolute scale, no one is good enough to earn salvation, hence the phrase, ‘you were dead in your transgressions and sins’ (Eph. 2:1). Only through being united with Christ’s perfect life can we become good in God’s sight, this is the basis for our reconciliation with God our Father.
In Isaiah 53:6 Isaiah speaks of Israel straying from God and compares them to wandering sheep. Yet God in His mercy, would send the Messiah to bring them back into the fold. As believers today, we are privileged to have the hindsight to see and know the identity of the
promised Messiah who has come and died for our sins. But if we can see all that Jesus did and still reject him, our sin is much greater than that of the ancient Israelites, who could not see what we have seen. Beloved member of this congregation or visitor, have you given your
life to Jesus Christ the “good Shepherd” (Jn. 10:11-16) and Redeemer, or are you still like a wandering sheep? Christ’s sacrificial death has implications for us: first, that we must receive God’s forgiveness through salvation, and secondly, we must be ready to forgive and reconcile with others as God in Christ forgave us (Eph. 4:32).
The Very Rev. Canon Michael Mukhwana,