Monday, November 7, 2016

Looking Forward to November 13, 2016 -- The Call of Isaiah

The Scripture Reading for this week is Isaiah 6:1-8

The Sermon title is God Makes Worthy

Early Thoughts: How many of us have been asked to do something and was sure the WRONG person was being approached? This happens all the time in Scripture.

Amos was merely a vinedresser.
Jeremiah was a child.
Moses (it seems) had a speech impediment.
Peter was a rough and tumble fishermen.
Isaiah was painfully aware of his lack of holiness.

And yet all of them are called to take part in the Mission Dei, God's Mission. All of them are made worthy and able to do what they are called to do.

Isaiah is int the temple at at time of transition. The King is dead. The Assyrians are a clear and present danger to the little kingdom of Judah. The future is far from certain. Or even worse, what appears most certain is a less than positive future.

And then Isiah has a vision. Technically this is best described as a theophany, a manifestation of God. In the midst of this experience Isaiah realizes that he is doomed because he is so unworthy (and from a people who are so unworthy) to be in the presence of and see Yahweh Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts.

But God has another answer.

God purifies Isaiah's lips (it is the lips that Isaiah specifically mentions in his lament of being unworthy) with a live coal. Fire is a common purifying element, albeit a rather painful one (sometimes God preparing us for service is a difficult, even painful process). [The purifying nature of fire is in fact where the practice of burning heretics at the stake is reputed to have come from] Then when God asks who will step forward Isaiah feels ready to go.

What will it take for you to know that God has made you worthy? What will it take for you to be sure God has chosen the right person for the task?

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