Isaiah 6 was the text for our Evensong service last week, it is the prophets account of his vision of God being worshipped by the Seraphim. Transfixed Isaiah hears them cry ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory’. Exposed to God’s presence Isaiah is left undone. A man of unclean lips among a people of unclean lips.
In preparation for the sermon I listened to a far greater preacher than I expound this passage – Tim Keller of Redeemer church Manhattan. And he revealed an insight I might of heard before, but can’t recall.
The Hebrew root of the word for ‘glory’ is Kabod which has the meaning of heaviness. Thus a revelation of God’s glory is a revelation of his ‘weightiness’. His solidity, permanence and reality in a fragile, temporary, and unreal world…
The reality of God becomes real for Isaiah.
This observation became a central theme for my sermon. And it is an idea that I have found myself turning back to again and again throughout the week. The realisation that a revelation of God’s glory is an encounter with the reality of God. Isaiah is gifted with a sense of the realness of the real God. He feels the weight. And the experience leads to confession and then cleansing.
Most commentators believe this experience occurred as Isaiah was at worship in the Temple. And I think there is a challenge for us as churches in this passage.
How weighty is our worship? Does it lead us to moments of encounter where we come to a fresh awareness of the reality, permanence, weightiness – a fresh sense of the glory of God. Does it lead us to remember that the God whom we worship is praised by the Seraphim, and his reality is more real than the whole earth?