6:1 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. 2 Seraphs 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. 3 And one called to another and said: “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And 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!” 6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The 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.” 8 Then 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!” [NRSV]
Two score and four years ago I finished my first year of formal education at the Glenn Memorial UMC Preschool. Wooden blocks, gallons of finger paints and sturdy swings should have made any child thrilled to go to school. But I was not always happy to leave my parents and venture out on my own. Before the days fo zero tolerance my father would give me his pocket knife, a pair of nail clippers or a tube of Chapstick(TM) to keep as a remembrance that I would see him within a few hours and that he was always ‘in touch’ when I reached into my pocket for a bit of reassurance. To this day these treasures are endearing touch points exchanged as gifts with our family members that recall that faithfulness and closeness.
The prophet Isaiah shares a powerful vision of assurance, blessing and closeness as one willing even though he is not worthy.
His vision is grand. It is a portent like those of the prophet Ezekiel and the prose from the revelation to John. It comes at a time of political unrest and uncertainty. In the time of the absence of leadership, God steps up to send a true messenger of promise, encouragement and truth. Isaiah for President 2012?
Isaiah is not a politician. Though he is a not afraid to speak to the need for people to follow God. He is not hesitant to speak the true word. He is bold in a time when speaking dangerously is demanded.
The heart of Isaiah’s experience focuses on the “Why Me Question?”
Often times we ask the same question, “Why Me, Lord?”
- Why do I have to do the work that no one else will do?
- Why have I survived when so many others have failed or died?
- Why am I being asked to serve again and again?
- Why do I feel alone in this journey?
The answer is similar for all these WHY questions:
- ..because you are listening
- ..because you are available
- ..because you are in the right place at the right time for God
- ..because you have what it takes, even if you can’t see it
- ..because others are counting on your strength and faith in God
Do you hear Isaiah’s Questions?
- What do I have to say?
- What difference can I make?
- There are others who are more worthy than I.
God’s Answer for Isaiah and for us:
- I need you.
- I trust you.
- I will provide what you need.
- You can because I will make you able, even if your not ready.
- Yes, I will send you.
- Yes, You, and YOU and you too.
Pucker up! Get the Chapstick ready, God has Good News, Hard News and Saving Grace for you to share. Here comes the cleansing coal of grace.
For we are in a time of fear and a lack of clear leadership… as witnessed at General Conference and on the nightly news. God is counting on us. God is calling us. God is ready to speak through those who are willing to step forward and affirm,
- Here I am, send me.
- Here I am, cleans me.
- Here I am, I will speak up.
- Here We are, send us, now.
(Honduras Team is in the air 9a/on the ground 11a, we are here, we have heard, God is send us too. Practice:
- I am a witness and a messenger
- I am a prophet and have Good News to tell
- I am here, ready and able by God’s grace, Send me! Amen.