Prepare to Listen. Light the pink candle and the first 2 purple candles. Be still with this reminder: The Lord’s mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.
Prayerfully Read Isaiah 6:1-8
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ 4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5And I said: ‘Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!’ 6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ 8Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me!’
I once had a sort of vision of God seated on a throne. It was rather ordinary compared to Isaiah’s, and not nearly as awe-inspiring. Unlike Isaiah’s, it didn’t give me the sense of God’s sovereign rule over creation, nor did I hear seraphs (literally, burning ones) singing a familiar hymn, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” And neither was it a call to proclaim God’s word.
Isaiah’s was, and thus two things were needed: to see God, and to repent and be made clean. Both happened. Isaiah saw God and his first spoken words were a lament about his own and his people’s uncleanness (sin). This was followed by cleansing as his lips were touched with a burning coal. However, unlike other call stories in Scripture, this one isn’t a direct and personal call to Isaiah. It’s made generally, to whoever’s listening. From the throne, God called out, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah wasn’t obligated to respond and yet he did. “Here am I; send me!” Did he know what he was signing up for? I wonder.
In his long, difficult ministry with little if any response from the people to whom he was sent (see vv 9ff), I suspect Isaiah frequently recalled this vision to be energized to stay the course. I know my sort of vision of God on a throne is one I’ve often recalled. It encourages me to persevere and stay the course.
Reflect on why seeing God, repenting and receiving cleansing is necessary to hearing God’s call to go.
Respond to Jesus
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord. Help me remember your holiness and repent of my own sinfulness so you can send me to others today. Amen.
Live obediently. Be alert to God’s call.