Isaiah's vision of God

Isaiah 6:1–8

At Pentecost we naturally focus on the disciples in the upper room and their experience of God's Holy Spirit. Let us look back to just one other time when God also needed to overcome someone's fear and uncertainty, that of the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah's vision took place at an important historical moment, the year that King Uzziah died. An age of prosperity for Israel and Judah was coming to an end; the mighty nation of Assyria was slowly asserting its power. God needed a prophet at this time of political and social change, someone who would faithfully give God's message to his people.

Isaiah's vision of God is a frightening experience. In Old Testament times it was not thought possible that one could see God in all his glory and live. Isaiah fears for his life, he realises too how weak, vulnerable and sinful he is. He sees not only his own sin but also the depth of sin amongst the people. God forgives Isaiah through the purification which the seraph administers: Isaiah can now respond without hesitation to God's call for a prophet. He is forgiven, God loves him, he has epxerienced God's grace and mercy, he calls out "Here am I; send me!"

Our world is today experiencing social and political changes, sometimes we feel, like Isaiah, that we're not ready for the future. We're sitting in our "upper rooms" facing doubts and uncertainties, aware of our own vulnerability and sin. God, however, is still the King of kings and Lord of lords; all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present. He is the one to whom we must turn.

Like Isaiah we need to come to God, recognise our own weakness and sin and confess all to God. When we come to God and ask for his forgiveness, acknowledging our need of him, then we will receive his unconditional forgiveness and realise just how much he loves and cares for us. God wants us to give total commitment to him and to serve him with all our heart and mind. We, too, will be led and supported by God and given the spiritual power we need just like Isaiah and the disciples.

Our "vision" is to look for, search out and be open to opportunities to serve God and to share our faith. To be active people, to answer God's call with the same confidence of Isaiah and the disciples. To be ready when the call comes so that we too cry out "Here am I, send me."

You may now wish to use the following meditation in preparation for Pentecost:

We are looking at God, we are thinking of God, we are seeing God.

God is all around us; we can feel and sense his nearness;
Like a breeze rustling through the trees, like a gently flowing stream;
Like the warm sun and the brilliance of the stars at night.

God is within us; we can know and experience his love;
Like a welcome hug from a friend, like a helping hand when we fall;
Like the glow of a lamp and the peace of silence.

God is God; in the wonder of creation, in the cycle of the seasons;
In the majesty of nature, in the light of day,
And in the dark of night.

God is God; all-powerful, all-knowing, all-present,
All-loving, all-caring,
Almighty God.

God is our Lord, our Parent, our Protector.
God is our source of all life and being.

God is and we are, now, in this moment of time.
Be still; look at God, think of God, see God and know that God
Is your God, is my God, is our God, is God.

Wonderful, majestic, glorious, loving, caring, living God.

By: Susan Bollongino
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