King Uzziah, the good king, has died. So now what?
That's the question facing Isaiah in today's first reading. Isaiah is young, possibly a child, and he's in the Temple when he sees God. Actually, Isaiah only sees some of God. God is so big and vast, only the hem of his robe can fit into the giant Temple. Around God are divine beings called seraphs. Isaiah is confronted by the amazing majesty of God's presence, and while a seraph can shout praises for God, Isaiah can do nothing but see his own unworthiness. I imagine it's a bigger version of what happens when we have a hobby that we're good at, only to meet a master in our craft. I love photography but when I'm in the presence of true artists, I'm humbled. I'm fully aware of what I lack and awed by this person with this gift and talent. Isaiah can't even express with words and sounds what he's witnessing. So God God takes the initiative to prepare Isaiah to speak. And speak he will.
This text might seem a bit odd to hear on Trinity Sunday. The Old Testament doesn't explicitly explain the concept of Trinity (and neither does the New Testament - the word Trinity wasn't invented until a hundred years after the Gospels were written). Instead, what we hear today is an image of where God dwells. And where God lives, community happens. God isn't hanging out alone; the seraphs are there. God is the "Lords of hosts" where "hosts" refers to "armies" (God isn't just great at throwing and hosting fantastic dinner parties). Where God dwells, communication, conversation, and relationships grow. God is busy communicating to others in a multiple of ways, through words, song, images, and touch. As Christians, we see community as part of God's very nature. God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. God's own identity is rooted in God's community.
And since God embodies community, so are we to do the same. We gather together on Sunday. We pray together, read scripture together, and spend time getting to know those inside the church and those outside. The faith journey is an individual journey fully expressed when it's located within community. We need to see and experience God through others and through ourselves to fully experience all that God is. There's more to faith and Jesus than what we personally experience and we're called to see all of that by gathering together as a church, as a community, and as neighbors within God's world.
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