For me the passage is about majesty, the majesty of God, and service- the service of the prophet- and so it is speaks to us about our discipleship yours and mine. We see Isaiah with all his faults, in the midst of feelings of unworthiness, on his knees in his shame and guilt over come with feelings of loss and abandonment but then, by the Grace of God, he like us must respond to the question that God asks each one of us – Whom shall I send? by answering “Hear I am send me”
Over the last month, as part of the 75th Anniversary of VE day, there has been a great deal of remembering of those who in their generation responded to the call “Whom shall I send” when it came to these islands own moment of peril in the 20th Century.
On Saturday with the anniversary of D Day, we will remember again those who responded to the call “Whom shall I send” by setting out in their dinghies , their sailing ships, indeed an armada of 700 “little ships” to pick up the stranded troops of the British ensuring that they would serve another day in freeing the world of the evil of Nazi Germany.
I the Lord of sea and sky
I have heard my people cry…….whom shall I send?
Here I am lord, it is I lord, I will go Lord if you lead me…
( Servant king Dan Shuttle)
In an another popular modern hymn called the Servant King written by Graham Kendrick the chorus rings out " This is our God the Servant King, he calls us now to follow him..... "The Servant King" is our understanding of God that we have to share as distinctive to others who believe in God and distinctive within a world were many strive to be gods and servants are treated with contempt.
Today as we remember and celebrate our understanding of God as Father Son and Holy Spirit, , we remember that God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit is not a heavenly Tyrant – a distant individual, ruling in splendid isolation but God who has come among us as one of us to bear our burden and bring us peace.
This is at the heart of what Jesus tells Nicodemus in the darkness of his night in our gospel:
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. 17Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.’ V16-17
The doctrine of the Trinity takes us to the opening pages of the Bible, deep into the time before time and we see that before there was anything to rule, the Father, Son and Spirit existed and they existed in relationship with one another.
Their life is a life of caring, sharing, give and take, back and forth. Before God’s life was a life of majesty over the creation, God’s life was a life of service among the Persons. The Father pours His love and life into the Son in the power of the Spirit.
The Son offers up His love and life in the power of the Spirit. The very essence of God’s Majesty is service. God’s life is a life of mutual self-giving.
The servant-heart of God is a glimpse of something holy. Because of Trinity: Majesty and service belong together.
Now imagine if this were not the case. Imagine if God were just a solitary individual. Think of him there “in the beginning”, with no-one and nothing besides him, just his own thoughts for company. Such a god could not be a god of service. There’s no-one and nothing for this god to serve. There’s no caring or sharing. This god would be defined by supremacy, by power, by pre-existence but not by love.
But not with Trinity. With Trinity: service is supreme. With Trinity: self-giving is ultimate reality. With Trinity: God is love, the love that exists between the three persons of the God head – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. It if from this relationship of love that creation is created for the Trinity exists as a dynamo creating the power of love that is found woven in to the very fabric of creation and our own existence as his children.
And this love, indeed any love cannot be kept to itself. In the beginning of Johns gospel we see that the God of love wanted to share. John writes:
Through the Word all things were made.
This is where we’ve come from. From the overflowing life of the Father, through the Word – the Lord Jesus – in the power of the Spirit, the world was born. It was as if the Father, Son and Spirit had said “This thing is too good to keep to ourselves.” And so a world is made, that we might share in their love.
And so here we find the meaning of life – in the Trinity – in relationship and love of God and one another. God the Holy Trinity make you strong in truth and peace, guard you and save you and bring you to that heavenly city where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. AMEN