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Isaiah 6:1-8: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

The following sermon was preached by Mathew Idicula, LSTC Doctor of Ministry student, in Augustana Chapel at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago on Thursday, February 8, 2007.

Isaiah 6:1-8: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Indeed it is an honor and joy for me to lead the service and meditations today. It is by no means an easy task to preach to future and present theologians. I am also sure that you will forgive me for my shortcomings.

Christian Churches all over the world are celebrating these days as Epiphany. The main theme for Epiphany is Christian commitments in life. The birth of Jesus Christ has given us a new meaning for our life.

In the second reading (1 Cor. 15:1-11) we heard Paul talking about the good news which he first brought to the Corinthians. It was not news which he had invented. It was news which had first been delivered to him, and it was news of a Risen Lord. "By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain." It was something the Corinthians had received already. It was something in which the Corinthians stood. It was something in which they were saved and it was something in which you and I as students and theologians and as members of the body of Christ need in our daily lives.

The first reading (Isaiah 6:1-8) for today is taken from Isaiah. Here Isaiah sees God as most holy. In a time when moral and spiritual decay had peaked, it was important for Isaiah to see God in his holiness. Holiness means morally perfect, pure and set apart from all sin. We also need to discover God's holiness in our life. Our daily frustrations, family pressures; societal pressures, and school pressures, some times even pressure from nature (very cold weather) reduce and narrow our view of God.

We need to see God as high and lift him up to empower us to deal with our problems and concerns. God's moral perfection will purify us from our sins; cleanse our minds from our problems and enable us to worship and to serve. Isaiah said "Here am I. Send me."

The painful cleansing process, (Isaiah's lips were touched with a live burning coal) was necessary before Isaiah could fulfill the task to which God was calling him. Here we are at LSTC as servants of God. Some of us are training to be even better servants of God. Before we accept God's call to speak for him to those around us; we must be cleansed as Isaiah was; confessing our sins and submitting ourselves to God. Letting God purify us may be painful, but we must be purified so that we can truly represent God, who is pure and holy. When God calls us can we say as Isaiah said "Here am I. Send me."

Only a right relationship with God will lead us to a right relationship with our fellow believers in Christ. May God Bless you all. Amen.

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