Theophany

Isaiah 6:1–8; 1 Corinthians 15:1–11; Luke 5:1–11

The reading from Isaiah reminds us that the world is a turbulent and unsettling place. Even Isaiah is not immune; his time was one of great national grief and uncertainty, and he retreats to the temple to try and recover a sense of perspective and peace of mind. Although the passage does not tell us whether he is alone or in the midst of the worshiping congregation, Isaiah discovers firsthand the wisdom of Annie Dillard’s counsel: when we go to church we should wear crash helmets, receive life preservers and be lashed to the pews in case God shows up. Isaiah experiences such a theophany, or encounter with the Holy One. He sees God’s presence rock the temple and turn his whole world upside down. He catches a glimpse of the deepest reality: “The whole earth is full of God’s glory.”

 

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