Sunday, February 10, 2019

Hear The Call, The Complete Call

This Sunday's lectionary readings contain several messages about how God calls us.

In Luke 5:1-11 Jesus calls to Simon,
"Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." 
In 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Paul calls the Church to remember the truth of the Resurrection, 
"For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to someone untimely born, he appeared also to me."

With Isaiah 6:1-8,(9-13) a church has the option of hearing part of God's call to Isaiah or the complete call. Guess which option most Episcopal congregations will hear (I would love to conduct a survey to see the percentage breakdown)?
In 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. 2 Seraphs 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. 3 And one called to another and said:‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;the whole earth is full of his glory.’4 The pivots* on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 5 And 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!’6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 7 The 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.’ 8 Then 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!’ 
I suspect that is all most Episcopalians will hear of Isaiah's calling because what God commands him to do is so negative, and what God is about to do to the people is so terrible that modern ears must not be allowed to hear those words on an otherwise pleasant Sunday morning,
9 And he said, ‘Go and say to this people:“Keep listening, but do not comprehend;keep looking, but do not understand.”10 Make the mind of this people dull,   and stop their ears,   and shut their eyes,so that they may not look with their eyes,   and listen with their ears,and comprehend with their minds,   and turn and be healed.’11 Then I said, ‘How long, O Lord?’ And he said:‘Until cities lie waste   without inhabitant,and houses without people,   and the land is utterly desolate;12 until the Lord sends everyone far away,   and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land.13 Even if a tenth part remains in it,   it will be burned again,like a terebinth or an oak   whose stump remains standing   when it is felled.’*The holy seed is its stump.
Oh dear, I would guess that 95% of Episcopalians won't get to hear that last bit.

Don't worry, be happy, all is well...


  1. Katherine1:40 PM

    What will happen to our nation if we continue to tolerate the killing of late-term babies? My Anglican priest prayed this morning for the children, and for repentance and amendment for those who authorize the killings.

  2. Our nation will "lie waste without inhabitant,and houses without people, and the land is utterly desolate; until the Lord sends everyone far away and vast is the emptiness in the midst of the land."

  3. Katherine7:33 PM

    I am afraid for my children and my grandchild. In the twenty or so years I may have left, perhaps it won't be too awful, but if current trends are not reversed, desolation will come.