Monday 16 June 2014

Bible Book:

"Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said, 'Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.'" (v.6-7)

Isaiah 6:1-8 Monday 16 June 2014


One of the most amazing scenes I witnessed when I visited Haitia few years ago following the devastating earthquake was at themain Methodist church in Port-au-Prince. Next to the church lay theruined New College Bird, the district offices next to it were abroken shell and the church was empty, dusty, lifeless andsilent.

Yet in the midst of all the destruction that I had seen, surroundedby dust, behind the church's communion table, I noticed that thestained glass windows had miraculously survived. One of these wasof a dove moving over troubled waters. Amidst this terribledestruction I was taken back to the scene of Creation describedin Genesis 1:2.

The words in today's passage, describing the call of the prophetIsaiah, are words of testimony following a conversion. Theyidentify a time, describe a vision, and appreciate the wonder ofGod. They speak of repentance, describe a context and express theessence of the call. "Your guilt has departed and your sin isblotted out" articulates well the feelings of a person who has beenforgiven and very much appreciates it. All too often guilt becomesa burden that hinders our mission. With what reluctance we appearto offer the liberation that comes with forgiveness in some of ourdeclarations and practice.

The Church's traditions and rituals lay in the dust of disaster,yet the creative spirit of God broods over our troubles and thoseof others, and offers words of assurance and forgiveness. I amconstantly struck by the images of people that the media reports ashaving achieved a victory for justice today. They come out ofcourts, issue statements and are greeted by jubilant supporters. Itis human justice to get our day in court and to rejoice when thejudge has decided in our favour. Is it divine justice? - it appearsnot! God's justice is creative and achieves victory throughforgiveness.

To Ponder

  • I have heard it said many times by many people - "I cannotforgive". Under what circumstances might you find it difficult toforgive a wrong done to you?
  • Faced with a vision of God's majesty Isaiah was humbled, and heresponded with commitment. Has commitment ever been your reactionto being humbled? What happened?
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