Isaiah 6:1-8 (you can click on this link to read the passage in Oremus Bible Browser)
This story gets me every time. It speaks to me personally, as if I had been there in the midst of the smoke and flames and shaking of the building. As if I had witnessed the angels flying in and out, with their wings covering their eyes and their feet. As if I were the one who recognized my unworthiness to even be present at this gathering, and as if the angel had touched my lips with the burning coal, giving my words inspiration and the sense that they came directly from my commission to speak. As if I were the one who answered, “I will.”
We read it on Sunday as part of the day’s readings, and Larry Beard read it just the way it was supposed to be read, with all the quiet drama it requires. It reminded me once again that each of us has been asked to answer God’s call to “go for us,” to witness to the life we live of forgiveness and connection with God. Some of us have recognized specific gifts of ministry for the good of the community called The Church, and some of us testify to our life of faith in our relationships with other people and with the world.
I suppose one of the reasons this passage speaks to me so powerfully is that the church I grew up in denied me the possibility of following my own call to pastoral leadership, and it was not until I was in my 50’s that I had the theological guts to chose to answer that call with a “Yes!” and let God handle the details of finding another church home all the other things that came with that yes. I am so grateful that God never gave up on my invitation to step into the power of God’s whirling, swirling, incense-filled question, “Who will go for us?”