December 8, 2010

Happy Wednesday day all!  We made it halfway through the week!  Make sure to mark your calendars for this Sunday at 3pm when Jubilate! is in town for an awesome concert at MCM.
Today’s Readings: Psalm 50, Isaiah 6:1-13, John 7:53-8:11
 “Here I am, send me!”  This is how Isaiah responds to what we call his own call story at the beginning of chapter 6.  I have been walking around the house with coffee in hand thinking, “Here I am, send me!”  Of course, Isaiah responded this way…there were angels and thrones and robes and then a seraphim placed a live coal from the altar on his lips.  This is pretty clear that God wants to do something with Isaiah. Of course, he would respond to this.  But how often does this happen to us in this life?

How easy would it be to be my puppy to respond to a call?  Rudy responds when you whistle.  Its pretty cut and dry when I want to get his attention.  I whistle and call “Rudy” and probably 95 percent of the time he comes running joyfully towards me. He hears the call and responds in all of his puppiness…ears flapping, running with abandon and a last slide into my leg.  The call is not majestic but clear.

How about when a friend asks us to do something?  If the question is direct, and as friends we should be able to do that, we get to choose how we respond.  The plea may be fairly direct and because we care we say, “Ok, send me!”

Or when the church asks us to respond?  This gets a bit trickier because the church is hoping you will respond to what you are passionate about.  A bit more intuition and talking to God needs to take place here.  If something in you responds with a passion, perhaps you should respond with “Here I am! Send me!”  But what if it immediately doesn’t?  Do you respond?  Do you still pray about it?  It’s just not as laid out and clear sometimes.  I would like God to appear in robes then sometimes.  What should I do here?  What really lights me up?  Where shall we go as a church to do your will, God?  I am willing but need more signage….

And then when you have major decisions in life?  Now, this is where I would really love more angels around with blatant things to say and do.  This isn’t always so cut and dry.  There are factors in our lives to play out.  If I take this path, God and I can do this….and if I take this path, then God and I can go there….and perhaps there isn’t a “better” way but just another way.  How do we respond with “Here I am, send me!?”  Not so easy any more.  My lips may be on fire to talk for God, but in what direction?  These are the questions we don’t see just after this story in Isaiah but you better believe that they were there.  Isaiah is speaking to a whole nation…later to be in exile.  And he has agreed to go for God but the questions of how must come up.  Any good prophet has a lot of decisions to make…and know that God is with them.  It’s not so easy most of the time.  So we go through the questions…what would it feel like to go that direction? And that other direction?  What are my values? What are the consequences of my choices?  What happens then?  Who is affected by my choices?  And do I want to really go through with it whatever “it” is?  Where is that live coal?

I don’t have any answers, I am afraid.  But I do take comfort in a call so beautiful and so clear as Isaiah hears from God.  Why?  Because in this season of waiting, uneasiness, contemplation and darkness, I know that God will be with me wherever I go.  There is no where that I would be without God’s call upon me.   Why do I know this?  Because fairly soon, God comes on into the world and lives among us….the world transforms and God walks with us…through all the decisions, especially the tougher ones.  And for some of you, this is super frustrating because it is not a clear sign, a clear answer.  This is God saying that God will walk with you in your decisions, wishing peace for you along the way.  You are not alone.

 O God, we want more answers.  We don’t want to sit in the waiting.  Help us to recognize sometimes we must just be with our discernment.  We are so anxious to know how you would have us live.  Let us be able to see you in the waiting and the in between times.  Amen.



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