Happy 12-12-12 everyone!
1In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty; and the hem of his robe filled the temple. 2Seraphs were in attendance above him; each had six wings: with two they covered their faces, and with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. 3And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke.5And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!”
6Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” 8Then 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!”
The calling from God to Isaiah is one of my favorite stories of a call. It is full of drama, suspense, big colors and large pictures and in the end Isaiah has the best line ever, “Here am I; send me!” He responds to God asking who will finally speak out for the oppressed, marginalized, and the one who cannot speak. The angel places that burning to speak out on his lips. Isaiah is ready to go. I have attached a picture of Isaiah that is the background of my computer. To see Isaiah’s call everyday, reminds me of his response and part of my responsibility. To speak out. To hear my call.
We all have a call. This is not just limited to the clergy in our midst but there is a call to do what we were made to do. These are the things we are passionate about and it may not necessarily be your job but it could be. Or it could be what gets you all lit up inside when you serve or when you connect or when you do something in the world. It is also what God is calling you to speak out against injustice and oppression in the world.
My mom teaches Spanish at Sweet Home High School. Ever since I can remember, I have seen my mom truly thrive in her job and in that job she creates community, she teaches with passion, she engages the kids with humor to learn at their best and she has ushered high school students into finding their passion. My mom was lucky in hearing her call from the beginning of her career. I used to love to go and sit in her classroom and just watch her in action. Her classroom would be packed and somehow she would be engaging students with teaching while calling out others to sit down or to stop talking. She was going a million miles a minute in making sure everyone had what they needed to learn. She still does this. Her teaching styles range for the different learning styles that she encounters each day. It gives her life to do this thing that I would never dream of doing (it exhausts me to think about how she does it…and all trying to accomplish a different language). PLUS the kids LOVE her. How do I know this? They made a facebook fanpage for her!! Yeah, who has a mom who has a fan page? This girl does. Plus she has hundreds and hundreds of fans. 30 years into this gig and she is starting to tire a bit but each year I hear how much she cares for her students and the passion in what she is teaching them. My mom heard her call and is living it out. Through her call she is also supportive of the marginalized, keeps her students in mind, and offers them care with boundaries…what a gift! She writes letters and works on next steps with students. She has definitely responded, “here am I; send me!”
I think of others in my life where their passion is not in their job but in where they serve in their extra time. I think of friends who work in food for the homeless, or who volunteer at a wildlife refuge, it lights them up and they step into a role of compassion and calling out. I think of friends who travel to Guatemala to continue to serve and work towards better housing and a better way of life for people while learning about the culture and politics behind it all. I think of people in my life who seek out the lonely and visit. I think of people in my life who play an instrument and watch the holy spirit flow through them. I think of people that, when they hear of the shooting that happened yesterday, will respond with some way of compassion and leap into action to make the world a safer, healthier place. I think of people in my life who…well, the list goes on.
Where are your passions during Advent? What lights you up? What makes your gut respond, “here am I; send me!”
There is another character that we will talk more and more about in the coming weeks that hears a call. I am also attaching a video that has been floating around the facebook world this week. A youth group made a remake around the call of Mary. She also responded to God with a “I am your servant, send me” response. As we look at our past in Isaiah,we will be looking forward to Mary. So enjoy for a moment the remake and be thinking about your own calling this season.