Church, worship, service: part 1 - Isaiah 6.1-8 ...
Isaiah is caught up in a vision. In this vision, he gets to see something of God in his full glory in the temple in heaven. Around the throne are angels with 6 wings flying and declaring how holy God is, how the whole earth is filled with his glory. The sound of their voices were like a thunderstorm, so that the temple shook. The sight is too much, too overwhelming, too pure, too holy and Isaiah is overcome. He cries out, 'I'm done for. I'm as good as dead. This is too much for me. I'm so dirty and filthy inside, I've seen the Lord and now I can only die.' But one of the angels ('seraph' taken from a word meaning 'fire') places a burning hot coal on Isaiah's lips and tells him, 'see, your guilt has been taken away and the price has been paid for your sin.' Then the Lord's voice boomed out asking who he could send to do his work. Isaiah cried out, 'send me!'
Wow. Such power and such incredible grace shown by the Lord in heaven. What's this got to do with church or our life as a Christian? Well, if we read through it we see an interesting picture emerge that we can relate to church, becoming a Christian, worship and our Christian life in general...
We find that the seraphs in heaven are worshipping God. More specifically, two of the wings are 'serving' (flying), four of the wings are 'worshipping' (covering their faces and their feet). This is a pattern we can follow - 2/3 of our time is worship (this doesn't just mean music, though music is part) and 1/3 is service. Out of our worship, flows our service. If we're not filled up with God, we can't give out to others! The Bible tells us that out of what's in our heart, our mouth speaks. John 15 tells us that we need to 'abide' in Jesus - that means we learn to live with him in charge, at peace with ourselves, listening to him ready to obey.
We learn from Isaiah 6 that God is on the throne and that he is interested in people like you and me. He sees and knows what we do, he wants to use us and he will meet with us to work his plan. We'll all have a unique experience and journey with God. But today he wants to meet with you. Why not sit and focus on Isaiah 6 and ask God to speak to you in the silence.