Sunday’s scripture passage is wonderful! In fact, as I have tried to prepare worship this Sunday, I basically came up with 3 different sermons, you’ll hear one this Sunday, one on June 7th, and I will briefly tell you about the one I won’t be preaching here.
The passage is Isaiah 6—the call of the Prophet Isaiah. Call stories are always interesting for a couple of reasons. First, God never calls who we think he ought to call. Isaiah’s immediate response to being called is that he is a person of unclean lips that comes from a people of unclean lips. He is not worthy and is fearful that God will strike him dead for having come face to face with him and not being worthy. What I find to be particularly interesting about Isaiah is that his excuse is basically that he is mouthy, he says things he thinks he shouldn’t, he isn’t pure enough. I think that is an interesting commentary on what makes us worthy or not. In the case of a prophet, it would appear God chose an impure loud mouth on purpose—Isaiah’s very failings may have been exactly what made him right for the job. Perhaps there is something in that for us too! Where do you feel unclean and impure? Is there a way in which God may want to use those weaknesses to make a difference in this world?
Secondly, be careful what you wish for. In this case, after being purified God sends Isaiah to the people to give them bad news. Wonder if Isaiah would’ve been so anxious to be chosen if he knew that was what he was being called to do. Unfortunately, sometimes we all face that dilemma. We know there is something that has to be done, it is the last thing we want to do, but we know that we need to be the one to do it. What does it say to us that sometimes God is working through those laborious tasks that we really don’t want to do?
Even with all that wonderful food for thought, there is still so much more that we will be discussing about this passage for the next few Sundays.