Summary: Vitamin D pills give sun-starved Canadians the assurance they're still getting their daily recommeded amount of Vitamin D. God does something similar for us in Holy Coummunion. There he gives us a doze of Vitamin F...
They don’t look like much or usually taste like anything but they’re sure poular. In 2006 Canadians spent $1.8 billion on vitamins and other supplements (Montreal Gazette). That’s $54 for every man, woman, and child in Canada. If you’re eating well, you really shouldn’t have to take pills for Vitamins A, B, and C though every Canadian should seriously consider taking a Vitamin D supplement. That’s because a main source of Vitamin D is sunshine and with our long winters we just don’t get the rays our bodies need to help absorb calcium and therefore build and maintain strong bones and teeth. I take Vitamin D pills because I like the “certainty” of it. Thanks to the supplement I know I’m getting the recommended daily amount of Vitamin D even if I don’t regulalry stretch out on my front lawn to soak up the sun.
There is another vitamin worth getting through a supplement: Vitamin F. Not sure what Vitamin F is? Nor would many dieticians. But without Vitamin F your body cannot not enjoy eternal life in heaven. Yes. Vitamin F is forgiveness. When Jesus died on the cross he won forgiveness for everyone. Sometimes, however, we doubt that this could be and ask, “Has Jesus really forgiven my sins?” Thankfully Jesus provides us with a “tangible” way to receive Vitamin F. He does this through Holy Communion. In answer to the question: “What blessing do we receive through the eating and drinking in Holy Communion?” the 16th Century reformer, Martin Luther, wrote simply: “…we receive forgiveness of sins, life and salvation...” Where did he get such an idea? From Jesus who said of the wine of Holy Communion: “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28). Today we want to find out why the forgiveness that God offers in Holy Communion is a blessing we don’t want to take for granted.
Listen to the words of our text as they are recorded in Isaiah 6:1-7. “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
How would you have reacted this morning if when you turned into the church parking lot you weren’t greeted by the usual sight at this time of year, dirty snow blending in with the church’s slate roof, but instead saw God himself seated on his throne above the church? What would you have thought if you also saw six-winged angels floating above God singing: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty” - singing so loudly that the 8-inch concrete walls of our church were quivering like paper plates in the wind? What would you have supposed when you smelled and then saw smoke pouring out of the church while all this was going on? Note how Isaiah reacted to those sights, sounds, and smells that greeted him in a vision. “Woe!” he said. Not “Whoah, cool dude!” but “Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty” (Isaiah 6:5). Like a career bank robber who feels uneasy every time he sees a police officer, this vision of a holy God made Isaiah more than uneasy for he was reminded of his sinfulness and how he was deserving of God’s punishment.
Can we not echo Isaiah’s confession? Are we not also “people of unclean lips”? Lips that were made to praise God and others instead boast about ourselves. Lips that are to encourage sneer instead at other people’s ideas. Lips that are supposed to express words of thanks spit out commands as if everyone else in this world has been put here to serve us. Our lips delight in sharing dirt and then fall silent when we should speak up to defend another’s reputation. Isn’t it amazing how one body part can be guilty of so many sins?