The King is dead. Uzziah was sixteen when he became king of Judah and reigned to fifty two years. (2 Kings 15:2), and now there is a power vacuum. It is safe to assume that the people of Judah felt uneasy as they buried their king. A lifetime of stable rule had come to an end, and the prospect of a power struggle loomed large in their future. It is at this moment that Isaiah encounters God. This is an encounter that holds all his senses – hearing the voice of God, smelling the smoke of the incense, feeling the building shake, and tasting the heat of the burning coal on his lips – and Isaiah’s life is changed. An encounter with God evokes his response “Send Me”.
We continue to live in uncertainty. Even though we have presidents, and captains of industry, and leaders of people, they prove themselves unable to stabilize our country. The poorest of the poor burn tyres in protest, and the richest of the rich quietly sent their money offshore. And most of us are like the proverbial “jam in the sandwich” as we battle to make ends meet. We might even whisper to ourselves “I wish that the old president / great person / people’s leader was back – because life was stable then.” This is the moment for us to learn from Isaiah: he tells us that this is exactly the moment that God becomes visible: Let us, like Isaiah, pay attention to our senses and discover that God is all around us. As we do so, we too might hear the invitation of to join God in the work of creating a world of justice, love and peace. What is you answer?
Prayer: O Lord: open my eyes that I might see you; open my ears that I might hear your invitation; open my mouth that I might taste how sweet your words are; and open my will, that I might work in partnership with you. Amen.
Third Sunday after Epiphany“The Call to Ministry”
(Scripture reference page 65 A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and other Servants)