In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “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.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” – Isaiah 6:1-8
Isaiah, about 738 b.c. was given an awe-inspiring and frightening vision of the Lord God on his throne. He even heard a hymn of the angels sung in heaven, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty!” The thresholds and the doorposts shook with the mighty sound. An eerie smoke filled the temple. Isaiah crumbled beneath the holy awe of this sight, and he immediately thought the occurrence signaled his death. “Woe is me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips… and I have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
But God granted his undeserved, unfathomable grace to Isaiah. An angel took tongs and lifted a live coal from the altar. With it he touched Isaiah’s mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for,”
God had a purpose for Isaiah. He had a reason for showing him the glory and awe of his throne. He had a purpose in admitting Isaiah’s sinfulness, but taking it away through a burning coal. That purpose? “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah answered, “Here am I! Send me!”
In every church you’ve ever belonged to you have heard the sermons, the Bible classes, the stewardship drives, the special workshops laying out your duty as a Christian to help spread the Gospel of Christ. Every time you have probably felt something like Isaiah when he stood before the Almighty. You felt your own uncleanness, your own sinful life. You thought, “It’s not that I don’t want to witness about Jesus to others, it’s that I cannot! I am unclean! If only people knew my private life and my many sins, they would know I am not fit for this work. Surely some more decent, holy person can be found rather than me.”
But like Isaiah, God has touched you and made you clean. Not by a burning coal, but in your Baptism he washed away your sins. When you ask forgiveness in your prayers, he forgives you day by day. Before God, for Jesus’ sake, you are righteous and clean- redeemed and sanctified to live for him.
Isaiah answered God’s call, “Who will go?” Isaiah was the only human in the scene. Who else would go? I suppose God could have sent the Seraphim or an angel to announce the Gospel. But God granted that privilege to a mere mortal- Isaiah. Today God still could send his holy angels to proclaim the Gospel as they have sometimes in the past. The angels were the first preachers of Christ’s birth. The angels were the first preachers of the Easter Gospel. Today God extends that privilege to us mere mortals. Sinful human beings who daily need God’s cleansing forgiveness. I have no doubt there are persons in your circle of life whom only you can effectively witness to. God calls “Who will I send, and who will go for us?” Your answer can be, as a cleansed and purified son or daughter of God, “Here I am! Send me!”