Here I Am, Lord, Send Me
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And ‘Who will go for us? And I said, ‘Here I am, Lord, send me.’ Isaiah 6:8
In this very powerful and moving passage we are told of Isaiah’s vision when the Lord appeared to him to send him forth with a message to the people. It is rich with heavenly imagery and earthly portent. As Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:17, “All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for refutation for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that one who belongs to God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” With that in mind, let us bring this scripture passage down from the heavens to where we all live our daily lives.
Every day God is sending us, like Isaiah, to go into the world of our daily lives to proclaim his message to those we live with in this world: our families, our friends, our co-workers and, yes, even the strangers we meet. We are his Isaiah in this world, at this time, in this place. Like Isaiah, God calls us today, and every day of our lives, to call ourselves and others to conversion, to challenge ourselves and others to turn away from those things that destroy us, both here and in eternity. We are commissioned every day, to bring ourselves and others back to God and his goodness. We are to do this through our own words and actions.
Like Isaiah, we too may very well be met with the refusal and even the rejection of others. Unlike Isaiah, we have come to know God intimately, in a human way, in Jesus. We are no longer commissioned to get people to convert out of fear and the intimidation of a wrathful God. Our efforts in this challenge today are to always to be modeled on the life of Christ among us. We are called to bring others, and ourselves to conversion through our compassion and understanding. We must be moved by mercy and love for ourselves and others, just as Jesus was. We must be willing to lead lives that are clearly rooted in the life of Jesus. We are not to condemn those who refuse and reject us, but to challenge and guide them through our freely-given forgiveness and through the obvious joy we have because of our living faith in Christ Jesus.
The mission has not changed. But with the Incarnation, our faith became mature. We no longer respond, like children, out of an awe-full fear of God, but as adults now, we respond out of awe for his unconditional love, which he expressed to us in Jesus. Now we are to love as Jesus loves. We are to address and to relate to others as adults who possess a free will and a capable intellect. We are to help bring others to that happy conversion more through how we live our lives than by what we say with our words. And we are never sent alone. God is always with us in his Holy Spirit. Let us all say, then, “Here I am, Lord, send me.”