God offers Isaiah a fresh invitation to serve. Isaiah finds himself entangled in regret and shame as he witnesses God’s glory and holiness firsthand. He doesn’t feel “clean” enough to be God’s messenger.
Yet God meets Isaiah with grace. God loves and accepts Isaiah, but Isaiah doesn’t perceive this. He needs a tangible act of love and coal-cleansing to transform his heart and perspective.
This outward action causes an inner rebirth. When God asks for a messenger, Isaiah feels ready to respond. With love and eagerness, he feels emboldened to say immediately, “I’m here; send me” (ceb).
Like Isaiah, we gain courage and confidence when we recognize God’s love for and belief in us. God meets us in our shame, guilt, or disappointment, doing whatever it takes to cleanse us and make us whole.
God offers you a tender cleansing of the way you’ve understood your identity and your place in God’s work. What risks might you take today in your relationships, conversations, priorities, and even seemingly small choices that grow from how God knows you? What hang-ups and beliefs hold you back from bravely embracing God’s call on your life?

Patient God, you come to my fearfulness and boundaries with mercy and compassion. You come to my small vision with an eye, a word, a touch that swallows the universe in love. You come sharing forgiveness as an unlocked door, always giving me a chance to change. Please work within me today to bring my soul to new life and courageous trust. Amen.

Pray the Scriptures Using Audio Lectio
Read John 3:1-17

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Lectionary Week
May 21–27, 2018
Scripture Overview

This Sunday we will celebrate the Trinity, the Christian belief that God is one being and exists in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christian theologians point out that there are many references to this doctrine throughout the Bible. In Isaiah, the voice of the Lord asks, “Who will go for us?” not, “Who will go for me?” In the passage in Romans, Paul speaks of all three persons of the Trinity: We pray to the Father through the Spirit because of the work of the Son. Jesus also speaks to Nicodemus about the role of all three persons of the Trinity. This may not be the simplest of Christian doctrines, but it is foundational because it explains the nature of God and God’s work throughout human history.

Questions and Suggestions for Reflection

• Read Isaiah 6:1-8. When have you experienced a cleansing by God, resulting in a greater willingness to serve?
• Read Psalm 29. As you read about the power of the Lord’s voice, do you find yourself frightened or drawn in? How approachable is God to you?
• Read Romans 8:12-17. What have you released to God? What bitterness has taken its toll on your soul? Are you ready to let it go?
• Read John 3:1-17. How has your life been reshaped by the Spirit? How did sins and failings manifest in the new creation?

Respond by posting a prayer.

I join many of those who will pray for you as you seek to discern what you are called to be at this moment. May God grant you the courage to fulfill that calling. May we all open our eyes and see the misery, open our ears and hear the cries of God’s people, and, like God through the Lord Jesus Christ, be incarnate amongst them.” 

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