Today’s Reading: Isaiah 6:1-7
Woe IS me! (Isaiah 6:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. You’ve heard it before, you’ve said it before . . . woe is me! Thanks be to God that the prophet Isaiah gives us a fuller understanding of that phrase: “I AM woe. It’s what I’ve known and all it seems that I’ll ever know.” Isaiah had witnessed something unbelievable, something not known on earth: a glimpse of holiness and perfection, but just a glimpse. For the six-winged seraph veils Isaiah’s eyes from beholding it fully, for no man of woe, no sinful man, can see God and live! Woe is me. I am lost. I am a man of unclean lips. We can identify with Isaiah, for not only have our own lips muttered terrible things to friend and foe alike, but our scrolling fingers, typing thumbs and wayward minds have revealed the true fallen nature that plagues us each day.
Not only that, Isaiah dwells with a people of unclean lips. It’s funny how 800 BC is so much like AD 2022! Isaiah saw with His own eyes the holiness of God and it caused him to recognize how wretched he was. That’s what the holiness of God does, it terrifies us, because we natural sinners know that perfection in and of ourselves is unattainable by even our best desires and works. That’s how the Law works, especially the Law which sets us up alongside the perfect and Holy Christ.
God our Lord, is pleased to come. With Him are the seraphs, messengers of God to still our shattered hearts, to grant solace to our precious and fragile hearts and lives, to cleanse not just our lips. We are not cleansed by fire but by the water of Baptism, water that drowns our Old Adam. It is cleansing water, pure, clean, and refreshing water that stills our souls. By the Word in and with that water that speaks the same words spoken to Isaiah, “Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for” (Isaiah 6:7).
Woe no longer IS you! Your woe has been taken up completely by Christ your Lord. Woe is not you for it has been drowned and died with all sin! Christ is in you, and you in Christ. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Gracious Lord, you have known me before I was in my mother’s womb, You have known me, my sorrow and my grief for You were pleased to dwell on this earth, You willingly humbled Yourself to bear my sin, there is nothing of me that You do not know, no sin of mine that You did not put to death; take heed of me in my great need this day and pour out again, abundantly and without end, Your, lovingkindness, Your perfect holiness and Your gentle mercies known n the forgiveness of my sins, open my ears to hear always,“Your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.
Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch
Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.