HERE I AM!
“In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and his train filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim; each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.’ And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called, and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am undone; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!’ Then flew one of the seraphim to me, having in his hand a burning coal which he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth, and said: ‘Behold, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin forgiven.’ And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, ‘Here I am! Send me.’” (Is 6: 1-8)
This passage, read today at the service of the Sixth Hour, describes the Prophet Isaiah’s experience ca. eight centuries before our Lord instituted the Eucharist for us, at His Mystical Supper. But at Divine Liturgy, we are given to share in Isaiah’s experience, nay, we are given to experience “more” than he did, not only when we sing with the seraphim, “Holy, holy, holy…,” but when we receive not Isaiah’s “burning coal,” which merely foreshadowed the Eucharistic Gifts, but “the real deal” of the Body and Blood of Christ. And then we are ready to go out, to be sent out, for “the liturgy after the liturgy,” when we share our experience of the Triune God with our world.
This morning, on the second Thursday of Lent, let me hear the voice of the Lord, once again, calling out to me, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Let me be “here,” in His presence, and focused on that call throughout my day, rather than “nowhere,” floating about like a little boat, lost amidst merely-human voices and concerns. “Here I am, Lord!” I say to God this morning. “Send me.”