King Uzziah dies, from leprosy, and the people of God enter precarious times. An era of prosperity and well being comes to an end and uncertainty and anxiety begin to rise. Real fears of the Assyrian threat to the north begin to loom. Where is God and what is going to happen?
Isaiah sensing the possibility of turbulent times makes his way to the temple to pray and look to the Lord God. There he meets God and experiences a vision of the very presence of God. Isaiah is transported beyond the Jerusalem temple to the heavenly temple of the Lord which we read of in Revelation 4:1-8. In the next Chapter, Revelation 5, we meet the Lamb of God, Jesus, in the heavenly realm.
Isaiah sees the all powerful and awe-inspiring God of all, the God who is more powerful than any nation or power on the earth. In this vision the seraphim hide their faces from almighty God whom they worship calling out “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” In the nations surrounding Israel, seraphim were depicted as powerful creatures surrounding the gods to protect the gods. Here the Lord God is so all powerful that the seraphim cover their faces and feet to protect themselves.
Here the almighty God of all, the Holy Other One, the One who is without sin or blemish, comes to reveal himself to a man, the prophet Isaiah. God comes and is present in a time of great need and in a season of fear and uncertainty to his people. God is present to us as well.
In Advent we stop in wonder to worship the God of all the Universe, the Lord God Almighty who comes to us in the Christ Child. Once again, God comes to us in Jesus assuring us of his presence, love, and care. Once again we can hear the word, “Be not afraid.” Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away all of our sins. We can live in hope rather than fear.
Prayer: Almighty and Wonderful God of all, we thank you for the gift of the Savior, Jesus the Christ. Help us to celebrate his birth once again and to sense the wonder of your love come to us in the Christ. We make this prayer in the Savior’s name, Amen.