Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Worship: Celebration of Faith
Isaiah 6: 1-8
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!”
In Isaiah 6:1-8 we learn about Isaiah’s call to be God’s messenger to the people of Jerusalem. As Isaiah entered into the presence of God he cried out, “Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord God Almighty.” Isaiah was so overwhelmed and affected by the greatness of God, and his realization of his own human shortcomings. The enormity of God was pressing upon him so that he felt crushed. His sins were exposed and he felt his death was imminent, as he had seen God with his own eyes
Isaiah’s encounter with God in all of His holiness was traumatic. He knew he was in trouble if left to his own merit. He was unclean and the people he associated with were unclean. In that moment Isaiah did the most logical and worshipful thing he could do – he openly acknowledged his sinfulness before God and in doing so he implicitly sought the mercy of the LORD. Isaiah had been taught that the LORD was good, that his steadfast love endured from generation to generation, but he had never experienced the glory of God in the fullness that he did on this occasion. That experience gave him a new appreciation for just how wide the gap was between himself, a man of unclean lips, and God who is holy, holy, holy in His being – in all that He speaks and does.
Isaiah was given a vision of the LORD seated on His throne, in the heavenly temple, high and lifted up with seraphim around Him singing His praises. He is so holy that even the six winged angels did not openly look at Him, but covered their eyes and their feet in reverence and awe. The threshold of the temple shook at the sound of His voice and Isaiah trembled in fear for he was unclean.
Worship is turning to God, listening to God, and responding to God. In our traditional worship services, there is a familiar flow to which we move. As we enter into our worship space, we encounter God. We come into contact with our family, neighbors and community, many of whom have greatly influenced our faith journey. We know that God has called us all to come and worship together. In our midst is the Holy Spirit, moving and compelling us to worship together.
Just as Isaiah did, we come face to face with how sinful and unworthy we are to be in the presence of God. We fall short of who we should be as God’s children, both as individual believers and as a community of faith. But, as a result of God’s grace and goodness, we are free to admit our guilt and wrongdoings not in fear, but in the comfort of our faith. We are called to confess our sins and the sins of the world, to turn back to God, and ask God to make right those things that we have done wrong. Following our time of confession comes our Assurance of Pardon. We are reminded and reassured that God is a gracious and forgiving God. We are reminded that Jesus died for our sins and we are thus reconciled to God. Nothing can separate us from the love that God has for us.
Merciful Lord, forgive what we have been, help us amend what we are, and direct what we shall be, so that we may delight in your will and walk in your ways.
Thought for the Day
Lets thank God for sparing us and saving us by pouring all his glory into his Son Jesus, so that we could see the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ.
Mar Thoma Church of Greater Washington