“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. 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. And one called to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
The pivots on the thresholds shook at the voices of those who called, and the house filled with smoke. 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!”
Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. 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.” 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!” (Isaiah 6:1-8)
This is one of my favorite passages – for so many reasons! The absolution of sin; the sending out of a prophet; the songs it has inspired. And of course, seeing the Lord in almighty splendor. I am also partial to the book of Isaiah, or at least large chunks of it. The writer of Isaiah can get carried away. But here, the fairly young Isaiah sees something in the temple that changes his entire life. Seeing or encounter God can do that.
The week’s lectionary passages commemorate the belief in the Trinity. And I have, of course started with God. This passage from Isaiah, with all that it does, gives a glimpse of the Almighty God. Of course, this is not the only aspect of God; God as parent, creator, sender of blessings and forgiver of sins are also themes of God that make up the first part of the Trinity.
The psalmist in Psalm 29 also gives us a picture and image of God that is awe-inspiring and overwhelming.
“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.
The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire. The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl, and strips the forest bare; and in his temple all say, “Glory!”
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!”
The voice of the Lord, or to be more precise, this voice of the Lord was the only voice of God that the people of the Old Testament knew; and to be very exact, it was the only voice of the Lord God that the people in Jesus time knew. The concept of “triune” God came only when the aspect(s) of God branched into different parts. Trinity Sunday does is identify and celebrate each part and aspect. So here, beloved reader, is God – in all the God-self’s glory! Fear and love the Lord . . . for so many reasons! Selah!