Fifth Sunday after Trinity
In the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The king had just died, so a man goes to the temple to burn some incense before the LORD to commemorate the king. He knew what to do, he had seen it done many times before. This time, however, something was different. He was sure that the bit of robe that he saw out of the corner of his eye wasn’t there when he first got to the temple. As he looks around, he notices that the surroundings are just a bit different, too.
So, he follows the train that he saw out of the corner of his eye; it keeps going and going and going, filling the temple. It comes to a throne, and seated on the throne was none other than the Lord. In awe, and not quite aware of what’s going on, he looks around and sees six-winged seraphs flying around; with a pair of wings they covered themselves out of modesty—they are in the presence of the Almighty with a man among them—with a pair they covered their faces as was reverent. Flying around, they cried out to each other in one voice, “Holy, holy, holy is the LORD of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” The whole place shook at their cry, and smoke of incense filled it.
Incense...that’s when the man realizes what’s going on; that’s when he comes to his senses. He’s standing in the heavenly temple in the presence of the only, true God, Creator of the universe. The man falls down on the ground, prostrate, face-down. “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The LORD of hosts.” (cf. Isaiah 6:1-5)
Dear hearers, this confession did not come to him from himself. He received it by faith as it was given to him by the Father in whose presence he found himself.