This past week on Tuesday, I recalled Isaiah 6 during a visit with a congregation member here in Camarillo. Isaiah, before the presence of God recognizes that he has no standing before God’s righteousness on his own merit. He is pardoned by God and cleansed of his sin and then God asks, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Isaiah responds, “Here I am! Send me.”
I have noticed throughout my life that when someone sees a need, it is often that person who works to fulfill the need. The same thing is true with prayer. Often, when we pray for a need to be met, it is often that person whom the Lord calls to meet fulfill that prayer. Isaiah saw the need in himself and in his people and God called him to be a prophet.
I saw a need and I prayed about it when I lived in Sioux Falls. I saw that we have many congregations in the Association Free Lutheran Congregations that are without pastors and that many of the pastors were getting older. I saw that we had a need for men to stand up, like Isaiah, and say, “Here I am. Send me.” I prayed with my pastor about this need and within a year, I was in seminary.
Now, on the other side of 3 years of coursework and nearly a year of an internship, I know 3 things for sure.
- I still declare, “Woe is me!” I am no less a sinner in need of redemption than I was before seminary. My sin terrifies me.
- I am still declared righteous because Jesus has atoned for my sins. My guilt is taken away. I am cleansed by the blood of the Lamb.
- I am being sent.
This past week, I accepted a call to be the pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Kirkland, WA. The responsibility to proclaim the Gospel is not one to be taken lightly by anyone, especially one who has been called to do so publicly by God’s church. God doesn’t promise that is going to be easy. Read through Isaiah’s commission in Isaiah 6:8-13 and the outlook for him looked bleak.
Thankfully, God used and continues to use Isaiah’s preaching to call people from their sin, into saving faith. It isn’t because of Isaiah that this happens but because of the Holy Spirit who works through the preaching of God’s Word. This is the same promise that all Christians have when they share the Gospel. God works.
I am excited about this call to publicly proclaim the good news to people as the pastor of Our Redeemer. It is not an easy calling. It is not a popular one in our culture. It is, however, a calling from God. I am thankful that God sends workers into the fields for the harvest. I am humbled that he is sending me.
May the Lord Bless you as you labor for the sake of the Gospel today.