Monday, February 4, 2019

Epiphany 5 C - Isaiah 6:1-13

Isaiah 6:1-13
The lectionary gives the option of stopping after verse six and maybe Isaiah would have preferred to end with “Here am I; send me!” as well. Despite his enthusiasm the people to whom he is so anxious to go will be dull, deaf and blind and won’t begin to listen until it is too late. The exile is inevitable and the destruction will be total because they were a people of unclean lips who didn’t know or wouldn’t admit that they were lost. There is no turning, no confession; no cry of “Woe is me!” to move the Lord of Hosts to mercy. But in a far away land they will come to their senses and the prophet’s voice will be heard and understood by the stump that is the seed. “Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.” We would do well to listen for when with unclean lips we claim the grace of God without confessing, “Woe is me!” we are dull, deaf and blind and exiled from inhabiting forgiveness. It is the hallmark of the Lutheran expression of the faith that the Law and the Gospel work together as the Law exposes who we are so the Gospel can reveal who God is. From the stump that is the seed will come the One who high and lifted up will cry out “Woe is me” for the world. Confession is the only response when with dull senses we finally understand the truth about ourselves and hear the cry from the throne of the cross and see the agony he endured that our guilt would depart and our sin be blotted out. Woe is me.

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