February 5, 2019
Today’s Thoughts On Scripture is based on Isaiah 6:5: “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!” (NRSV)
What has occurred to me is that this person feels doomed and hopeless because he feels he is unclean, unworthy, maybe even unloved. He also feels, or maybe is even afraid, that the people who surround him are the same - unclean and thereby doomed and hopeless. And yet, he realizes there is hope - he has seen the King, the Lord. And the good news is found in the Lord, God, where there is unconditional love and acceptance.
And he responds as his vision continues in verses 6-8: "Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 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.” 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!”"
What a response - I will go, I will share the message, I will respond. Songwriter John Michael Talbot wrote a song about this response called “Here I am, Lord.” The chorus goes, Here I am Lord. Is it I Lord? I have heard You calling in the night. I will go Lord. If You lead me. I will hold Your people in my heart.” I cried the first time I heard this (and often still do) because I wondered, IS it I, Lord, you want to send? What can I do, small as I am? And I pondered, is God calling me to ministry? The answer was yes, in many and varied ways, only one of which was as a pastor. ALL ways God calls us is to ministry - to hold God’s people in our hearts, pray for them, love them, serve them, and show/tell them about God. Thank you, God, live coal to my lips or not!