“How Can Our Lips Proclaim What Our Eyes Have Seen?”
The prophet Isaiah records his call as a visual encounter in God’s throne room. What he sees is so holy, so pure, so true, that it can only be described using fantastical language: The hem of God’s robe fills the entire temple. Seraphs – holy 6-winged creatures – fly through the scene. Isaiah knows that he and his people aren’t so holy, so pure, or so true. He despairs. How can he represent a God like this when there’s such a disconnect between God’s holiness and Isaiah’s “unclean lips”? Good question. What will it mean for us to respond to God’s call as those with “unclean lips” in the midst of a people with “unclean lips”? God’s response comes through a Seraph that performs a radical cleansing procedure of sorts on Isaiah. What must happen for us in our encounter with the holy? What will be the consequences of this encounter?