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Whom Shall be Sent? / Trinity Sunday

Isaiah 6:1–8

And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”

While the word “Trinity” never appears in Scripture, we certainly see the work of the Trinity alluded to frequently in these holy pages! From creation (Genesis 1) to this weekend’s Old Testament reading, from Jesus’ Baptism to His Great Commission, we see the Trinity at work time and time again. On this Trinity weekend, we celebrate that our Lord is the Triune God – One God in three Persons – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We try to put this mystery of the Trinity into human words, but we recognize that mere words fall short of describing our awesome, infinite, magnificent, unapproachable God.

Isaiah described the vision he received in the year King Uzziah died (758 BC, four years before the founding of Rome in 754 BC). Of our Almighty God he wrote, “I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.’” (Isaiah 6: 2-3)

Can you see the similarity of Isaiah’s vision to the one John, received almost 800 years later and wrote in his book of Revelation. John described his vision of the throne room of God and the four living creatures, and the twenty-four Elders and the myriads and myriads of angels and he wrote, “Day and night they never stopped saying, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.’… “They lay their crowns before the throne and say: ‘You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for You created all things, and by Your will they were created and have their being.’” (Revelation 4: 8, 10-11). He also wrote, “They cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb’… “Saying: ‘Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!’” (Revelation 7: 10, 12)

Is it any wonder that Isaiah cried out in despair, “Woe to me! 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.” (Isaiah 6: 5) He recognized his own sinfulness, the sinfulness of all mankind and the absolute holiness of God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. He knew that sin cannot stand/exist in the presence of the holy, all-powerful God. In His perfect holiness, God destroys sin and sinners!

It was at that very moment that “one of the seraphs flew to [him] with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched [Isaiah’s] mouth and said, ‘See this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’” (Isaiah 6: 6-7) Isaiah recognized both his own sin, and now, completely by the grace and work of God alone, he also believed in his forgiveness so that when God called out “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” Isaiah could answer with excitement, joy, and full confidence, “Here am I. Send me!” And God did send him! By the grace and inspiration of God, Isaiah became one of the greatest prophets of Israel and is even known today as “the evangelist of the Old Testament.”

When God’s Holy Spirit works in our hearts, minds and souls, convicting us of our sins, failures and shortcomings, we, like Isaiah, are left saying, “Woe to me!.. for I am a person of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips!” Our sin leaves us alone, afraid and guilty.

But upon the altar of the cross, Jesus’ perfect sacrifice for us assures you and me that “your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for!” Now the Holy Spirit touches our heads with the cleansing waters of Baptism; our mouths with the bread, wine, body and blood of Jesus in Communion; and our ears, minds, hearts and souls with His precious life-giving Word bringing us forgiveness and freedom.

God is calling to us, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” So, what does this mean for our congregation and for us as believers in Christ? Perhaps planting a new church or starting an additional worship service in a style more likely to reach a demographic of people who we do not currently reach as effectively as we might. It may mean that God is calling some of you into full-time church work, or perhaps you might encourage others (children, grandchildren) into the Savior’s service. For ALL of us, it surely means sharing our faith in our awesome, infinite and magnificent Triune God.

The single most significant reason that people visit a church and become members is that another Christian invites them. By the inspiration of God, YOU may be that person whom He will use to bring someone to saving faith! In awe and wonder, we join with the seraphim in singing, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty; the whole earth is full of His glory.”