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Isaiah 6:1-8 (NIV)
6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” 4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.” 6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 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!”
The prophet Isaiah is given a glimpse of God sitting in His thrown-room surrounded by his heavenly court. Isaiah has been pointing out how unworthy the people of Israel are. Now, standing before God, he realizes that he, too, is unworthy to stand before God Almighty. He realizes that no one is worthy to stand before God simply because no one is even close to being like God in power, righteousness, justice and glory. This is what God does at Christmas. Jesus is the “burning coal” that comes down and touches our “unclean lips.” When he came down from heaven that first Christmas, he came to die and be resurrected to make us holy and strong to stand in the presence of God. And when we have been cleansed from our unrighteousness and sin we can be sent out to share the good news of Christmas with others. Worship starts with repentance: “Woe is me”. It continues with receiving from God what we cannot earn: “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for”. It finishes with a mission: “Go”. As we prepare our hearts to worship our King this Advent season let us not forgot why he came, what he has done, and the mission of going out and loving others that He has given us. Let us pray: Heavenly Father, you are holy and there is none like you. We know that there is nothing that will make us worthy to stand in your presence. Cleanse our hearts and prepare us to share the good news of Jesus this Christmas. In Jesus name. Amen.