Here I Am, Lord!

Isaiah 6:1-8 (NRSV)

By John Grimm

It was at Cedar Point during the East Ohio Youth Annual Conference that the power of a hymn drew me in.  Hundreds of youth from East Ohio were gathered at the amusement park for a yearly business session.  The worship was full of powerful music and Scripture.  It was during the singing of “Here I Am, Lord” from the United Methodist Hymnal (593) that I began to discern God was calling me to preach.

Since that time more than three decades ago, my call to preach about Jesus Christ has been affirmed in many ways.  I caught up with an old high school friend recently.  During our conversation over dinner, he told me, “I knew back in high school you were going to be a preacher.”  What an affirmation!

We may not have a vision like Isaiah.  We may not have an angel touch our lips with a coal from a heavenly altar.  However, God is still calling people to preach!  God has sermons for women and men to preach that will turn the hearts of men and women to Jesus Christ.  God desires for humanity to turn to Him.  God uses you and me in this work.

Is God speaking to this generation, asking “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  If so, know that though the news is good regarding Jesus Christ, turning from our ways to the ways of God will be dangerous.  Preachers will not consistently satisfy the church while being faithful to God.  It is the message from God found through Jesus Christ risen from the grave that will be spoken by those called by God to a people of unclean lips.

God asks for us.  We respond.  God brings people to himself through our preaching.

Lord, you are holy, and your glory fills the earth.  We are a people of unclean lips.  As you call forth those who will go for you, may women and men respond with, “Send me!” Keep sending your preachers to deliver the good news of Jesus Christ.  In the name of Jesus Christ, we ask for the preachers of today to continually go where you send them.  Amen.

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