Imagine for a moment looking up and being confronted with the awesome magnitude of God’s holiness juxtaposed to the mire of your sinful condition. How would you respond? The prophet Isaiah had just such an encounter which he outlined in Isaiah 6. He describes how he saw the Lord, seated on His throne, being worshiped for His holiness, might, and glory. In seeing God worshiped this way, Isaiah feels the weight of his own sin and responds the only way any of us could.

  • Isaiah 6:5: “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”

Isaiah sees God for who He is and is therefore faced with the reality of who he himself is without God – ruined, a man of unclean lips, cursed, sinful. God’s response, though, is swift and hopeful. It says that one of the seraphim flew down and touched Isaiah’s lips with a coal from the altar of the Lord – cleansing him and forgiving his sin.
It was only after this interaction that God chose to ask who would go forth and be His voice. Isaiah’s response can teach us something about our own call to be God’s voice in our world today.

  • Isaiah 6:8: 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!”

It is important to note that Isaiah’s surrender was not driven out of fear or manipulation. He didn’t have to be cajoled into going out to proclaim God’s truth to the world. Rather, having received God’s grace and mercy, Isaiah proudly, swiftly, exuberantly declares his loyalty to the Lord and offers himself up. He says, “Here am I. Send me!”
You and I should have the same attitude because of the wondrous work Christ did in us.

  • Colossians 2:13-15: When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

If Christ so publicly defeated death and the power of sin in this world, why are we so private about His victory? Our celebration of Christ’s triumph, our proclamation of the grace we have received should be just as public as Christ’s sacrifice. We received grace in the same way Isaiah did. Our sin did not earn us the punishment of death; that punishment was exacted on Christ in front of the whole community. After raising from the dead, Christ admonished His followers to go out into the world. Jesus is saying to us, who is going to go? Who is going to respond to the grace they received with total surrender?
Paul says that "while we were still sinners Christ died for us." And so “in view of God’s mercy” we must "offer our bodies as living sacrifices" to the Lord. Like Isaiah, we must respond to the Lord, “Here am I. Send me!”
We know from this past week’s discussion and this reading that God has called us to go. This Sunday we will dive in a bit more into the where. We’ll explore questions like, “what did Christ mean that we would be His witnesses in all Judah, Jerusalem, Samaria, and even to the ends of the earth?” Everyone will be able to quantify our unique mission field. It promises to be a wonderful time together. Please come and join us as we continue to learn how to Be the King’s Avenue.

In His Service,
John McRae