This wonderfully descriptive opening passage of Isaiah 6 vividly illustrates Isaiah’s breathtaking vision of the sanctity of God whose glory fills the whole of the earth.
In the face of this glory, Isaiah’s vision quickly dissolves into serious reflection and personal confession. He is humbled by the grandeur of God and feels wholly unqualified to speak of the glory he has witnessed. God senses this guilt and forgives Isaiah his sins. This act of loving forgiveness enables Isaiah to hear God clearly asking “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"
His response is both dramatic and spontaneous: “Here I am; send me.”
Today we experience God’s grandeur through the natural world. We hike, camp, climb, and explore nature reserves, and urban areas have begun to make space for God’s natural growth in parks and rooftop gardens. It is little wonder in the noisy, polluted, electronically impersonal world we inhabit that we should seek out ways to experience the majestic work of our Creator.
When we experience God’s majesty in the vastness of nature reserves or the wonder of green life surrounded by concrete, we are overwhelmed. For many of us, experiencing the glory of creation has become so rare that even a hint of it convicts us: How have we sinned that we do not recognize God’s overwhelming majesty everyday? How have we sinned that our neighbors must grow food on the roof in order to have access to it?
When we recognize our sin, we may hear God’s call to make a change—to be changed by God and to advocate for change for others. The abiding question remains: Will you say, “Here I am; send me”?
Loving God, open my eyes, my ears, and my heart this day so that I may be renewed to answer your call. Amen.
The theme of calling is continued in this week’s readings. Isaiah has a vision of God on the throne and is terrified because he knows that he is unworthy; yet he is being called by God. The psalmist, traditionally David, praises God for having a purpose for his life and bringing it to completion. Paul echoes Isaiah’s sentiments of his own unworthiness to the Corinthians. While assuring his readers of the reality of Christ’s bodily resurrection, Paul recognizes that he preaches only by the grace of God. When Jesus is calling his disciples, Simon Peter recognizes him as the Lord and cowers because he feels unworthy—much like the prophet Isaiah had done. These readings teach us that God’s call is based not on our worthiness but on our willingness.
Read Isaiah 6:1-13. When have you heard a difficult call from God? How did you come to finally say, “Here I am; send me”?
Read Psalm 138. How have you seen God uplift the lowly and the humble? How have these experiences changed the way you live out your faith?
Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. How does your life witness to Christ’s resurrection?
Read Luke 5:1-11. How has Christ called you? Whether or not you feel worthy to the call, Christ wants you to follow.
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