November 26, 2023
This will be my last reflection for you to read. I’m not sure if our visiting minsters or the next MUC minister will do that, so this is a little bit of me. These reflections have been important for me, they help centre my thinking, and mostly give you the background to our Bible readings so that together we can explore more on a Sunday morning.
This week this space will be the main place for exploring the readings as I am planning something a little different during the sermon – but that can wait until Sunday.
Today is the last day of the liturgical year with next week being the beginning of the next year as well as the first Sunday in Advent, the time of preparation for the coming of the Christ Child.
In terms of lasting impact on the imagination and piety of both Jewish and Christian tradition, there are few texts with greater reverberations than Isaiah 6.
This text, throne vision and call story of Isaiah, is a mind-blowing, trippy, sensual vision beyond the veil of the Temple. Distinct, but not unique, such visions have grabbed the imagination of people in both Judaism and Christianity. Probably the most lasting and impactful reverberation within the imagination for Christians is the song of the Seraphim:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;the whole earth is full of his glory.
This hymn of the Seraphim around the presence of God can be heard whenever the Christian assembly gathers and is sung or spoken whenever the Eucharist is celebrated.
This call story of Isaiah leaves us with the question from of “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” and the response from Isaiah saying, “Here I am; send me!”
Here I am Lord is a song that means much to me. I particularly like it when the verses are sung by the band and leaders and the chorus is sung by us, the people.
We never really know what the outcome will be when we declare “Here I am, send me!”. Sometimes it can be very challenging and sometimes not, but usually there is some change involved.
As I stand before you on this last day as your minister, I am very aware that I have answered, yet again, “Here I am Lord, send me” with a certain amount of hesitancy and sadness as well as hope and excitement.
I will be around; I look forward to visiting again and seeing where it is God has sent you. I wish you all God’s greatest blessings for now, for this special time of Advent and Christmas, and for the years ahead. Thank you for allowing me to do ministry and mission with you all!