828 King's Highway, Suffolk VA 23432

757 255-4168 stjohns1755@verizon.net Worship Service: Sundays at 10:30am
Welcome to St. John's community. We are honored to serve Christ, and to open our doors to all. Please feel free to join us for worship. St. John's can trace its history to the founding of Jamestown. The parish is over 350 years old, and the church building itself has stood for 2 and a half centuries. St. John's saw the American Revolution and served as a camp ground for troops during the Civil War. Through it all, St. John's has been a place of worship and a home for those seeking communion with Christ. St. John's has a rich and abiding history. Today, it is as it was... a place to find and be found by Christ.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Christian Formation for June 3, 2012 - Isaiah 6:1-8, A Vision of God in the Temple

Jun 3, 2012, 1 Pentecost
Isaiah 6:1-8
A Vision of God in the Temple
Background: Isaiah was a prophet in Judah in the era of the destruction of the Northern tribe. He was one of the principal advisors to King Ahaz and the text holds a special place in both Hebrew and Christian Scripture. This passage is the beginning of a section of Isaiah’s call subtitled the Testimony of Isaiah with this passage providing justification for Isaiah’s vocation.

Theme: In this passage, we see details of God’s grandeur and interaction with Isaiah. Isaiah details a vision of God’s presence and the immensity of God and God’s power. This passage also helps show Isaiah’s personal calling by God and his preparation for God’s ministry.

Questions to Ponder

* Briefly describe the situation in the nation of Israel; describing the social, political, religious, and international relations.

* What are your first impressions of this passage? What do you think the writer is attempting to convey with the imagery provided?

* Where does Isaiah “work” as a prophet?

* Who was Uzziah and what was his relationship to Ahaz? Why might their relationship be important to the story of Isaiah? Why do you think Isaiah is receiving a commission by God “in the year King Uzziah died”?

* What do you think Isaiah was “seeing” when he describes the image beginning in verse 6:1b?

* What is a Seraph? Why might there be seraph (plural seraphim) attending to God in the image? What was the function of a Seraph?

* For what reason might the Seraph use their wings to (1) cover their face, (2) cover their feet, and (3) fly? What would the purpose of coving their face be? What about covering their feet?

* To what might Isaiah be referring when he describes the “high and lofty throne”?

* What might the implication be to Isaiah when he sees God’s hem filling the temple? Which temple might Isaiah be referring to?

* How should the description of God illuminate our relationship with God today?

* What were the pivots of the threshold? What would it mean if the pivots shook?

* When translating the hymn of glory in 6:3b, there are alternate translations, one which has a comma following the third holy and the other does not. What might the addition or deletion of the comma mean with regard to the intent of the hymn?

* Why might it be important for Isaiah to “see the King, the Lord of hosts!”? How is his seeing the Lord different than other Old Testament prophets? Do you think Isaiah actually saw God’s face?

* Why might the Seraph have touched a live coal to Isaiah’s lips?

* What message is Isaiah volunteering to carry from God? Why might it be important to have his lips cleansed by God? Is there another reference to clean or unclean lips in Isaiah?

* What might the phrase “Here I am; send me!” be reminiscent of?

* What is the prophet Isaiah signing up for in this passage?

* What are the implications of the passage for us today?

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