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Oops, I was Wrong! - By Pastor Thomas Engel


We all make mistakes at sometime or another. Right?

I can type with all of my fingers, but in just a few sentences of an email, typos abound.

Even as an English major, I mistakenly write “are,” “a-r-e,” when I mean “our,” “o-u-r.” In the voice in my head, the words sound so much alike, so I get them mixed up a lot.

Ordering things online can be tricky. One day, you see boxes and boxes at your door. Instead of ordering 10 rolls of paper towels, you ordered 100 rolls.

It’s looking like you got all spills covered for awhile.

I wonder how many mistakes a person makes in day. Of course, in our age of studies and data, a study does show that a person makes an average of three to six mistakes per hour.

As careful as I try to be, I think I’m way above average as I’m getting older. A lot of little things slip my mind like looking for my keys, but, then, I see that they are around my neck on my lanyard.

I’m guessing that most of our mistakes are in the “Oops” category. You know the mistakes that we easily recover from like spilling a glass of milk.

We know that we are not to cry over a spilled glass of milk, so we are glad that we mistakenly ordered all those paper towels.

Life has it’s ways of turning out even with its mistakes and all. Doesn’t it?

Well, at least those mistakes at the “Oops” level.

Because I’m finding that I’m using “Oops” a lot these days like with my losing my keys, I looked up “Oops” in the dictionary.

Cambridge dictionary says, “An expression of surprise or feeling sorry about a mistake or slight accident.”

What I’m getting from this is that if I’m putting “Oops” before “I was wrong,” it’s not all that of a big deal.

After all, we are all human and make mistakes.

We make a typo, use the wrong word, order too much of something, spill milk,

and we make the correction, deal with it, or clean it up. Then, we move on.

It’s what humans do, we make mistakes, and we move on. Probably, we are moving on to another mistake, but we do keep moving, and find, even with all of our mistakes, we are making steps forward.

Saying “Oops, I was wrong” is one thing, but just saying, “I was wrong” without the “Oops” is another thing.

When we say, “I was wrong,” it usually means that something serious is going on.

This serious thing can still be corrected, but it needs more attention than using spell check to correct a typo or a paper towel to clean up a spill.

I don’t think a study on what we are about to talk about here is possible or any data will be of any help.

What we are getting here is what humans do, and we all do it.

We sin.

We sin in thought, word, and deed.

When we came here to confess our sins, we did not say anything like, “Oops, I sinned.”

Talking about sin is serious stuff.

We say, “O Almighty God, merciful Father, I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended Thee and justly deserved Thy punishment in time and eternity.”

Talking about sin is serious stuff, I don’t know if it can get anymore more serious than damnation.

First, we are talking about how living in sin can only lead to a poor and miserable life.

Nothing ever good comes from sin.

Oh, it might seem sin isn’t too bad at first, but sins always add up to big troubles.

Then, in our confessions, we are talking that we acknowledge that we deserve punishment for our sins.

This punishment is not for the mistakes in life when we say, “Oops, I was wrong.”

Again, we usually can “fix” those mistakes.

When it comes to our sins, the wrong is so severe that we can’t make it right again.

The reason that we can’t make sin right again because it’s against God.

Sin is going against God’s will for us. When we sin, we are forgetting that God gives us His will for our benefit.

Everything that God wants for us is for our good, so God can get quite angry that all the good He has for us is tossed aside without too much if any consideration.

God will not be mocked.

And God is just, When He sees our sin, it must be punished, and we admit that agree with God in our confession.

But, we don’t get what we deserve.

Let me explain my using my favorite movie genre. You know I like gangster movies.

When gangsters are having a gang war, or when a bad guy is to knock off another bad guy, one says to other as he is about to pull the trigger, “Get ready to meet your maker.”

That saying is intended to be “bad” news for the guy who is about to be dumped in a river.

The dead guy will meet God, his Maker, and will be judged. The thought is that since the guy lead a life of crime, he will be sent to hell.

So not only is the one guy dead, but he is damned forever.

For gangsters, it’s a real problem to be meeting your Maker.

But, look what we have done here this morning.

You got up, you had your coffee, and you drove here to church to meet your Maker.

Coming here, you knew exactly that you would be confessing your sins before God, and you know that you deserve punishment now in this life and damnation for eternity for your sins.

Knowing all that, you still came. I still came. We still confessed our sins.

We came because we know that we are sinners and can only be miserable in them, so we came to meet our Maker.

But, we know some things about our Maker.

We do know that God is just and righteous. We know He has to punish sinners.

But, we also know that our God is full of mercy and grace.

We know that God sees us as His children, for we are. We know that God does not want to punish us.

We know how God so loved the world that He sent His own Son to the cross to take the punishment for us.

Jesus suffered and died in our place, so we would have forgiveness of every sin.

If you look at the readings today, we see how there is an emphasis on going out to tell others of the Gospel.

We hear Isaiah saying, “Here I am, send me!” And we hear Jesus calling his disciples to become fishers of men. They drop their nets and follow Jesus to go into the world to spread the Gospel.

So, it seems that I should be focusing in this sermon on going out to spread the Gospel as Jesus’ disciples in our times and places.

That is the focus for today and everyday, but we need to see that the going out is a process.

In the Old Testament Reading, we see how Isaiah confesses that he is a sinner. Then, we see how God forgives his sins with the touch of hot coal.

Isaiah now sees how he is free from sin and wants to tell others how God wants to do the same for them.

We can assume that the disciples knew of this reading about Isaiah. This would explain the reason how they abruptly went to follow Jesus.

We, too, having been forgiven are to go out to spread the Gospel. Others need to know what we have by God’s mercy and grace in Christ.

But, before we go out we need to know what we are going out into. Did you hear what God said to Isaiah about how people would receive the Gospel?


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