"Leaving The Bad Behind"
January 13, 2008
Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed. Isaiah 53: 4-5
The people of Korea have an interesting New Year's custom.
Wishing to forget things unpleasant and make a fresh start, each person recalls all the bad habits he wishes to have removed. Then, he writes all of these evils on a kite, which he flies high into the air. When the kite is almost out of sight, the person cuts the string. The kite makes a nosedive and then disappears out of sight. The individual goes home rejoicing that all the bad things from the past year are gone forever.
Don't you wish it were that easy?
My experience has taught me that the nasty transgressions and habits of the past have a tendency to stay with us longer than we would ever like. Even a high-flying kite can't take them away.
No, if anyone is going to start this New Year, or even this new day fresh and forgiven, something more cleansing than a paper kite is going to be needed.
We’re going to need Jesus. Only in Jesus can our sins be sent sailing; only in Jesus can we be given peace. That’s what Isaiah wanted us to know when he wrote, “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” It is cause for thanksgiving.
Now, I don’t think we ought to throw out the entire Korean custom. The idea of listing all our sins and sorrows is a good one. It’s something repentant Christians ought to do regularly. Just as regularly we should, by the Holy Spirit’s direction, place that list into the nail-pierced hands of the Savior.
When that is done we can rejoice for those bad things from our past are gone forever.
THE PRAYER: Father, on account of Your Son’s sacrifice, the sins of Your children are remembered no more. We deserve death; You grant us forgiveness and eternal life. Grace alone has done this. We pray our thanksgiving in the Name of Jesus. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries