Sister Claire brought a wonderful “message” this week which was full of deep truth and coupled with a sincere simple delivery. It really did serve as the epitome of its content.
She began with presenting the image of a postal messenger. She noted that they are equipped with uniform (identification), a messenger’s bag (to hold the content), and a duty (to deliver the message). She then challenged us to consider if we took on such a role, would we not strive to live up to the calling? She then powerfully reminded that as Christians, we have indeed been so sent.
She continued by presenting Paul’s words to the Romans:
“For, “’Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news’!” (Romans 10: 13-15).
The world is lost. Sin is in ascendance. The world needs salvation. To find it they must believe, but requires being taught. Those who are the instruments of bringing that saving message are lovely (or at least their feet are). We are those lovely instruments.
We do not start our Christian walk fully prepared. But we are born again with a commission to teach others. This can feel daunting at times. We may well shy away from the task as we see our inadequacies. But God has given us the excellent example of His servant Isaiah. Isaiah 6 tells us that in the year of King Uzziah’s death that Isaiah saw the image of God:
“I saw the Lord,high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory'(verses 1-3).”
In the face of this Isaiah panicked. “How can someone see God and live?” He was far from prepared to enter upon the mission he was about to receive.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty (v. 5).”
Such a response, however, only opened him up to be prepared!”
“Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, [See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for’ (v 6-7).”
Thus prepared he was sent!
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go and tell this people . . . (v. 8-9).”
Sister Claire gave a personal testimony of her and her husband’s early zeal to do the same. But their efforts were greeted with indifference or even avoidance by others. But so were the efforts of Isaiah!
Isaiah faced a people with “ears dull and [who] close their eyes.” But this is no reason to continue with the task at hand. We too were stiff-necked, but the break-through came.
Paul reminds us, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-7).” God is the head gardener, we need to follow our assignments. He is in charge. He has equipped and sent us.
And yes, He has sent us! “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age (Matthew 28: 19-20).” To the end of the age! Peter, James, and John are no longer here among us. So who shall be the messenger now, and until the age. Simple: “Go ye” means “go me.”