The Old Testament reading for my ordination service will be Isaiah 6:1-8. In a strange quirk of liturgical calendar, that is also today’s reading for the Daily Office.
Now of course the last line, “Here am I; send me!” is perfect for ordinations. But there are other reasons that I treasure this passage.
First of all, I love the majestic and magnificent image of the Lord’s presence and glory filling the temple. The hem of the Lord’s robe (God wears clothes?) filled the temple. Whoa, that’s huge.
It’s so huge and magnificent that the angels of the Lord have to hide from God’s very presence. Apparently they have six wings (also weird). With two they fly. With two they cover their faces from the glory of God, it’s just too much for even them to bear. And with two they cover their faces (i.e. genitals).
What gets me is that these messengers and servants of God, heavenly beings, have to hide themselves from God’s glory. But the prophet, just a lowly human named Isaiah, is given the gift of speech with God. Whoa, that’s really huge, and super awesome. But take note: the prophet can only speak with God after his lips have been cleansed by a burning coal. That’s intense!
But you and I have been given a better coal and a more righteous cleansing. Any guesses?