Isaiah 6:1-13 MSG
When Isaiah saw the Master, he thought he was doomed. Having looked the Holy One in the face he became aware of his sinfulness. Suddenly he wasn’t as holy as maybe he had thought.
Perhaps he remembered those unkind words that had left his lips, those harsh thoughts that had filled his mind, those judgements that he’d made about how other people were living.
When compared to (faced with) God, who is absolute holiness, we don’t measure up. Our sins degrade us. They make us less than we’re meant to be. They prevent us from being who God made us to be. And so we can miss out on the life intended for us.
But then God intervenes. God takes the initiative. An angel messenger is dispatched to touch Isaiah’s lips with a live coal taken from the fire of God and the prophet is baptised afresh with fire, his sin burned up in the flame of unconditional forgiveness.; an echo of what Christ would finish (complete, fulfil, make real) on the cross.
Only after this, the way is opened up. Then, and perhaps only then, does the prophet hear the call of God, “whom shall I send?” Then, and only then, is he free to respond, “I’ll go. Send me.”
The task was never going to be easy, hard hearts are not easy to break and sin is a barrier that blinds people. At times even the message of God will astonish, but there is always hope with God, “a holy seed in those stumps.”