Originally scheduled for April 14
One of the
consistent problems in our country today is pollution. By this I do
not mean pollution in general. Let us consider specific points of
pollution. Suppose you find out somebody has been dumping chemicals
in a back lot someplace near you. The problem quickly becomes how to
neutralize those chemicals — and that problem is usually very messy.
In the Old
Testament the word
“pollution” is usually applied to the land of Israel. It is not
chemical pollution; it is spiritual pollution. Let’s see how this
We name that part
of the world the “Holy Land.” The Bible makes it clear that the land
of Israel belongs to God; it is his.
Israelites are just tenants in the land — and therefore have an
obligation to keep things tidy in the spiritual sense.
If Israel damages
the land, God takes action.
You might then
well ask how does this pollution happen. In those days three things
are most commonly mentioned as sources of pollution in the land.
Adultery is most
often mentioned. God uses marriage as a portrayal of his love for
his people, and his love for his people is pure.
Parallel to that
is idolatry, the worship of other gods.
bloodshed — particularly bloodshed involving sacrificing your
children to other gods — is also polluting the land.
We might update
these into the modern time as follows.
Adultery needs no
update. God has painted on the living canvas of our bodies a picture
of Christ’s love for the church. That love is still pure and he
wants that purity in your marriage as well.
might take the form of materialism — the desire for the bigger boat,
the faster car and the more expensive house.
might just be the same thing — sacrificing your children. There is
no shortage of abortion in our country.
Of course, it’s
easy to define the problem, and a lot harder to clean it up. So how
do we clean up spiritual pollution?
begin by stating the obvious, that we are sinners. We admit to God
that we have committed these sins and that we have sorrow for them.
you have admitted the sin it makes no sense to go back and repeated
over and over again. The effort must be made to reform.
Given those two
things, we can then ask God for forgiveness.
In communion, we
see the forgiveness of God offered to all mankind. It is by the
atonement of Christ, his body and blood on the cross, that we are
offered forgiveness at all. This is symbolized to us in communion by
the bread and the cup. Taken in earnest, with no deception intended,
communion starts us in the steps of purification. As you partake
this morning, do not take this as an empty ritual but rather a
gateway to God’s forgiveness.