For Sunday, June 3, 2012
Often when I’m in church and the pastor is preaching from a specific text I want to know more about the passage itself. Are we trying so hard as evangelicals to be relevant that we short-change both the inherent relevance of the texts we present as well as the ability of the Holy Spirit to bring life-changing understanding to our hearers? Isaiah 6:1-8 is a text begging to be mined and proclaimed.
First, there is the idea that God is both transcendent above us yet immanently with us. What could be better than a God who is both all-powerful and immediately accessible? This is the God whom we Christians worship.
Second, there is the description of the Seraphs. These are not angels but special attendants to the throne room of God. They cry out, “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Some interpreters think in these three cries of Holy are acknowledgements of each person of the Trinity.
Third, there is the Seraph purifying Isaiah’s mouth and life. Isaiah hears the Lord saying, “Who will go for us?” and his response is a joyful, “Here I am, send me!”
This text invites us to become purified, called, and emboldened just as Isaiah was.