Inspired by Isaiah 6:1-8
“Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: ‘Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.’ 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!” Isaiah 6:6-8 (NRSV)
Like Isaiah, we deserve to stand in terror before the holiness of the Lord God, because we too are sinful people living among other sinful people. None of us deserves to stand before the throne of the Holy One and live, because our sins have earned us nothing but death.
But by the will of God, the touch of a coal which had been burning on the altar was enough to cleanse Isaiah of his sins, and he was able to stand blameless before the throne of God. And by the will of God, the death and resurrection of his Son is enough to cleanse us of our sins, so that we too may stand blameless before the throne of God.
When Isaiah was cleansed by the coal, the Lord asked, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Without knowing where, when, to whom, for what, or for how long, Isaiah responded to the call by crying out, “Here am I; send me!” He was bold and he was rash, but he knew he’d deserved death and had been given life instead. Isaiah wanted to use that life to serve the one who had given it to him.
God still has work for us to do. Because of the grace of God in Christ, your guilt has departed you and your sin is blotted out. You stand blameless before the throne of the one who gave you new life. How will you answer his call?
Let us pray. God of holiness and might, you have chosen to blot out our sins and cleanse us of our guilt. Strengthen us to boldly respond to your call, that we may use the new life you have given us to be your faithful servants in the world. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.