Being burning coals of grace

Trinity Sunday
Year B (2017-2018)
Bible Book: 
Isaiah
Chapter: 
6
Verse: 
1
Verse (to): 
8

Living in a world of extremes, we often get lost in our ordinariness. One cannot help to be overwhelmed with the feeling of intimidation when you are in the presence of people that are greater and better than yourself. Even the privileged, when facing the extremes of lack in others, at times feel the need to justify what they have, even if it is through hard work and honest gain.

Isaiah might have felt the same, as he stood in the presence of the Lord. He immediately became aware of his sinfulness, hence his outcry;” Oh no! I am doomed.” We read further how the angel of the Lord comes and touches his lips with a burning coal and declare that his guilt has been taken away and his sin forgiven.

Our forgiveness of sin is always in response to a Holy God to whom we can go with all our shortcomings, with this blessed assurance that He will forgive us as He is our loving, gracious heavenly Father. We see even in the text that as Isaiah responds to the holiness of God, God in return responds in grace.

The burden of guilt and shame is a heavy load to carry and often people just need a “burning coal” to come touch their lives, to restore their self-worth. Self-worth does not happen in isolation, it is always in relation to others. We are called to touch people’s lives with the grace of God.

When we allow God to use us as burning coals in the lives of others, we become enablers. All of a sudden people that felt paralyzed by their circumstances, regain the confidence to look life straight in the eyes. We see this in Isaiah’s response to Gods question; “Who shall I send?” Isaiah’s response is; “Here am I! Send me.”

May we experience the enabling, forgiving grace of God, not only to have our lives restored but to be instrumental in the restoration of others.

Dear heavenly Father, I reflect on the word of Jon Cohen as I pray:

Make me a channel of your peace

Where there is hatred let me bring your love
Where there is injury, your pardon Lord
And where there's doubt, true faith in you

Make me a channel of your peace
Where there's despair in life let me bring hope
Where there is darkness, only light
And where there's sadness ever joy

To think about: Are you a burning coal in the lives of others that bring restoration or are you a destructive fire that consume and destroy whatever comes in your path?

Written By: Rev C Swartz, Churches Channels of Hope Programme Coordinator

Author: 
Swartz C (Rev)
Language: 
English
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