Tag Archives: grace

A Seminarian’s Reminder

This semester has been a roller coaster. More and more I find myself drowning under the weight that is piled upon me. I feel like how I can only assume Atlas feels, carrying his yoke, all the while wishing it would crush its bearer. I am continuously reminded of all that I have left to do on this journey I have chosen. The next resulting thing is a question, one I have pondered late into the night, like tonight; “What the hell am I doing here?”

Tonight as I asked that question to myself I began to read Isaiah, chapter six.  Here I am presented with Isaiah having a vision of the throne room of God. I am given two different reactions to the presence of God.  Isaiah sees the seraphim before him, glorifying and praising their God. They say to Him, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY, is the LORD of host, the whole earth is filled with his glory!”

I love how this sounds in the original Hebrew:

קָדֹ֧ושׁ קָדֹ֛ושׁ קָדֹ֖ושׁ יְיָ צְבָאֹ֑ות מְלֹ֥א כָל־הָאָ֖רֶץ כְּבֹודֹֽו׃

qädôsh qädôsh qädôsh [Adonai] tz’väôt m’lo khäl-hääretz K’vôdô

And then Isaiah gives his response to the presence of God. “Woe to me! For I am destroyed! For I am a man of unclean lips and I am living among a people of unclean lips! For my eyes have seen the king, LORD of hosts!”

Too often I follow Isaiah when presented with God and his plan for me. I am destroyed, for I am a man of unclean lips. I am not smart enough! I am not capable! I am not able to fulfill all that you have planed for me! I am a sinner! I am ‘so mean that in remembrance of my mortality, I mayest say to corruption, “Thou art my father,” and to the worm, “Thou art my sister”’  I see God’s glory and the possibility of an abundant life because it is centered around Jesus Christ and I shudder.  Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death?

I forget about the provision of the Lord. I forget His promises of love and forgiveness. I forget that  the LORD God condescended to Isaiah and a seraph flew down to him and touched a hot coal to his lips and told him; “Look! This has touched your lips and has removed your guilt, and your sin is annulled.”  I forget that ‘in Christ thou art so honored that thou canst say to the Almighty, “Abba, Father,” and to the Incarnate God, “Thou art my brother and my husband.”’

The_Prophet_Isaiah_1726_29

The Lord God then says “Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?” Because Isaiah’s sins are cleansed and he is made right in the eyes of the Lord, he is able to respond;

I am here! Send me!

Sometimes I forget, that is why I am here. I am here because the only response that I know of to God’s grace and provision, and his forgiveness and love is the phrase “I am here! Send me!”

I have dedicated my life to spurring others on to a deeper relationship with Christ through discipleship, being intentional with my relationships, and by humbly seeking after the deep things of God and teaching others what I have learned. And I, like St. Peter, know of no where else to go and know of no one to go to. For Christ has the words of eternal life and I believe and have come to know that He is the the Holy One of God. I am convinced that he will provide manna for me while at seminary.

Sometimes I just need a reminder.

Eric Clapton, Isaiah, and the Presence of the Lord.

Eric Clapton wrote a song called The Presence of The Lord.

This raises a question. What should our reaction be to being in the presence of the Lord? Should we react like the Seraphim, shouting “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts, the Earth is filled with His glory!” Or should we react like Isaiah, filled with reverent fear, saying “Woe is me! I am destroyed! For I am a man of unclean lips!”

Paul saw this also; ” I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.”

It is through Christ that we can rejoice with the Seraphim in like manner and shout unto our creator “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts and the Earth is filled with His glory!”  It is through Christ that we have finally found a place to live, we can live in the presence and the color of the Lord.

-Your humble servant

My Second Attempt at This Poetry Thing

You’ll have to excuse me if this is awful…

I am a Sinner

I stand before you now to tell you that I fall short, I am a sinner.
My flesh and that which it points to is the master instigator
I act in a way that bespeaks the ruling of the flesh over the self.
I’m a liar, cheater, and a manipulator
And I surround myself with individuals like me.
I look to myself as a vindicator
But no vindication is granted
I am a sinner.

I am shamelessly self involved.
My idolatry takes form as self worship.
I yearn for my esteem to be grown and evolved
I seek the approval of others over that of Christ’s.
But nothing causes the dissonance of my head and heart to be resolved
I am prideful
I am a sinner

I am not poor in spirit, for it does not appease, what I’ve had heretofore.
I do not mourn, for I have no need.
I do not hunger nor do I thirst after righteousness, of which I abhor.
I am not merciful, for those that trespass against me are deemed as worthless.
I am not pure in heart, for my flesh cries for more
I am not persecuted for righteousness, for I am he that persecutes.
I am not a peace maker, for I am a peddler strife and war.
I am a sinner

I look upon the mirror
I do not see Christ, but my sins reflecting back at me,
Laughing, mocking, ridiculing, tangled around me and I am enmeshed
They haunt me like the apparitions of tales long told
They follow me, of solitude, I am bereft
They are a stain of Duncan’s blood that can not be removed,
They are a scarlet letter thrust upon my chest,
They are a leprosy that only one can heal
I am that which I hate
I am a sinner

But, There is grace
There is an everlasting grace
A saving grace
A grace the heals what nothing else can
Purchased at a cost none can fathom, yet available to all that seek it
A grace that saved me, transformed me, renewed me
I stand before you today, a new man.
A man that is no longer defined by my flesh
A man that is no longer defined by my wretched self
For I am a son of light
For I am a son of the most high God