Here I am: send me Duncan’s sermon on Isaiah 6:1-8

by | May 31, 2021 | News and reports

Here’s Duncan’s sermon on Isaiah 6:1-8 from yesterday’s service.

Trinity Sermon Sunday 2021

On Monday evening,

I watched a fantastic programme on Alba TV about a man called Bill Lawson, who moved to live on the Island of  Harris nearly 50 years, ago.

He was fascinated by the stories told by all the elderly people within these Island communities,

And he made it his life work, to record their stories,

and then map out their genealogies,

the family relationship of everyone,

in many cases going back to the 1700’s.

Today, he responds to inquiries from people all over the world, whose families emigrated from the Western Isles, who want to know about their roots and the family ties.

I think it’s a basic part of our humanity, that we all want to know something about who we are,

That’s why programmes like,

WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE? are so popular

We can only know who we are, by having some understanding of where we have come from,

Who our ancestors were,

what did they do,

where did they come from?

This is the Sunday in the Church year,

When we especially think about RELATIONSHIPS.

It’s called TRINITY SUNDAY,

The day when we remember that God exists in RELATIONSHIP.

God is not ONE but THREE,

FATHER, SON and HOLY SPIRIT.

From all eternity, God has existed in perfect relationship and harmony,

And

So as human beings made in the image of God,

I couldn’t help thinking that Bill Lawson’s work on the Island of Harris keys into the very heart of God,

This innate thirst and hunger that’s in all of us,

to belong, to be connected, to be loved, to be accepted.

There’s something in all of us which hungers for that reality of perfect communion,

Relationship,

Harmony,

Peace,

which is at the heart of God,

And yet,

Is so elusive in our experience of life, which so often is fractured and broken,

And leaves us with so much pain and sadness.

On this day,

When we remember that God exists is perfect relationship,

FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT,

And,

None of us can really begin to comprehend what that means,

The mind blowing good news of the Bible,

Which is told in many different ways,

Is that God is anxious for us to know that he wants us to join him in that communion,

in that community of perfect  love and relationship.

This is what the Call of Isaiah is all about.

“in the year that King Uzzah died……”

King Uzziah died of leprosy in the year 742 BC.

It was a time of deep crisis for the nation.

Isaiah is telling us that encounters with God are not other worldly experiences.

Isaiah encountered God in the midst of the events of his life,

And the same is true for us.

The experiences and the encounters with God may come in many different times and forms.

Very rarely as dramatic as what Isaiah experienced.

“In the year that I left home for the first time……

 In the year my first child was born…..

 In the year that my husband or wife or child died…..

 In the year that Covid struck…..”

Isaiah is an encouragement for us to be expectant,

To seek to cultivate a life of communion with the Holy Spirit,

So that whether in transition or celebration or crisis,

We are open to God meeting us with a fresh vision or word.

Encounters with God are interwoven into the events of our lives.

Like Isaiah,  we are being encouraged to look and listen for God especially in the turning points of life.

Many of you know that I recently walked up the coastline of the Highlands from Fort William to Cape Wrath.

One of my abiding memories of that trip is the feeling of my own smallness, frailty and insignificance,

as I walked through some of these vast landscapes with mountains and lochs and rivers.

To lie in a wee tent with the wind blasting and the rain and hail hammering against the canvas sides.

The power of nature and it’s scale is awe inspiring

BUT

That is nothing as compared to the God who created it all in the first place.

It’s as nothing compared to encountering God as Isaiah did in this vision.

The earth is shaking,

And God is so massive and overwhelming, that he can’t be contained in the Temple.

We all know what a hem is.

It’s the edge of a garment.

God is so awesome, so overwhelming,

That just the edge , the hem of his robe, fills and overwhelms the temple.

“Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord Almighty:

The whole earth is full of his glory.”

 The God that we have come to worship this morning is truly awesome,

And the encouragement of Isaiah this morning is for us to be attentive for these moments of God’s revelation,

encounters which take us to that place of awe.

“Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder,

Consider all the works thy hands has made.”

 God is truly awesome,

But

In the face of Isaiah’s terror and fears he is also so gentle.

“Woe to me! I cried.” For I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty”

 Isaiah is broken by the presence of God,

He cries out to God.

God hears our cries,

And

God immediately responds to Isaiah by healing him through touching his lips.

God reaches out to Isaiah with healing power.

In some way which goes beyond our understanding, the relationship Isaiah has with God is made whole,

And it’s God who has done the healing,

And mended the relationship.

And,

So Isaiah in gratitude responds to all that God has done for him by saying,

“Here am I. Send me!”

 We don’t offer to serve God, because we are better than anyone else.

We aren’t

We don’t offer to serve God because we have time on our hands or certain gifts we think we can offer.

We offer to serve because Jesus has come to us and brought his healing, and given us a hope and a future.

“Here am I. Send me!”

 May we see ourselves this week, wherever we find ourselves,

 As being SENT ONES!

 In all we do and are,

 may we reflect God’s compassion,

 Isaiah’s humility,

 And Christ’s love.