What an invitation this is, overwhelming in its majesty and awesome in its presentation. It is a call to consecration, dedication, newness, growth, unimagined purpose, possibilities, and even power. It’s a set-up. It draws the would-be prophet into the web of God’s invitation, and the reader expects the recipient of this extravagant revelation to balk at the whole situation. But that’s not what happens. Isaiah immediately volunteers. Why? What has he heard and seen in this highly sensuous experience? What does he perceive and where does his imagination of what is to come take him? Why is he so quick to offer himself?
How in this new season can we hear the new possibilities awaiting us? As I write this, with new national leadership in the United States, many of us are waiting with cautious hope for the new that needs to come—for the uniting of people separated by political differences, for an end to oppressive policies and systems, for a world that epitomizes justice for all people, and for civility and compassion and care that honor the entirety of God’s human creation. So where do I fit? How much am I being called to give for the cause of justice?
The call here is to the prophetic, and, despite the individuality of the response, it is important to recognize the universality of the call. It is not simply to the one. This questioning reaches into the community that strives in its ever-new iteration to respond in word and deed in acceptance of the divine invitation. It is the call to grow in love for the sake of the reign of God in the world.
God of new possibilities, we hear your call, and we want to respond in faith. Forgive our hesitations and fill us with strength to do your will in all things. 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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