Christ Lutheran Church
May 30, 2021
by: Rev. Dean Kavouras
HOLY HOLY HOLY
In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him stood the seraphim. Each had six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one called to another and said:
“Holy Holy Holy is the LORD of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”
And the foundations of the thresholds shook at the voice of him who called; and the house was filled with smoke. And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost. For 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!
Then one of the seraphim flew to me having in his hand a burning coal that he had taken with tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth and said:
This has touched your lips!
Your guilt is taken away
and your sin atoned for.”
And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:1-8)
Holy holy holy!
When you commit these words to writing do not use commas between them because they are not list, but an single utterance pregnant with glory!
They are single celestial utterance signaling that the One who dwells in unapproachable light is near; that the “Immortal Invisible Only Wise God” is with us.
By the exclamation HOLY HOLY HOLY spoken in the language of angels, but recorded for us in the language of men – we know that there is Someone out there! We know that we do not live in a “closed universe” as so many desperate atheists fervently hope; but that “in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1) and that he is our Lord and God.
Do you doubt it?
Why would you?
Nearly everyone you talk to agrees that life exists on other planets even though there is not a dab of evidence to support it. Then why won’t we believe in the One who is our God: “In whom we live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
In him whose invisible attributes, whose eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived since the creation of the world by the things that have been made … (Rom. 1:23)
But even if we could somehow wrap our minds around the untold “space of space” with its seemingly infinite galaxies and brilliant lights, the most we would be observing is: the train of his robe that fills the temple of heaven and earth.
Only a reflection of the One of whom the Seraphim chant HOLY HOLY HOLY. But also the eternal home that Jesus promises to his redeemed in Blessed Baptism. A life that is not only eternal in quantity, but also in quality! This is what the Lord of Glory has prepared for those who love him.
Only do not ignore the baptismal instruction Jesus gives in today’s gospel, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a man is begotten of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. For that which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is begotten of the Spirit is spirit.”
HOLY HOLY HOLY LORD GOD OF SABAOTH – HEAVEN AND EARTH ARE FULL OF THY GLORY!
When the church sings these golden words she confesses with lips now made clean by the coal from the altar – that the One who is THRICE HOLY is the Lord, God of Sabaoth. Or in plain English: The Lord God of Power and Might.
He is the One who created, controls and employs all things, visible and invisible, for our benefit. Not only the good, holy and angelic powers immense as they are! But he even uses Satan for his purposes.
He used the devil to enter into the heart of Judas Iscariot to betray his One and Only Son, so that the divine blood of Jesus, needed to purify the earth of its sin, and fill it with the glory of our God, would be spilled (Acts 2:23)
He used this same devil to drive a “thorn in Paul’s side” so that he would not be lost by pride. And again to torment Job to teach us about Christ, the resurrection from our troubles, and the resurrection from our graves.
But so that we don’t get ahead of ourselves let us remember that whenever we intone the words HOLY HOLY HOLY in our Eucharistic Feast, it is a signal that the Great Messianic Banquet, the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, is already in progress; and that we are part of it. That we are now united to the Blessed Holy Trinity; liberated from our bondage to decay; and there is nothing nothing nothing better than that.
HOLY HOLY HOLY LORD GOD OF POWER AND MIGHT!
If you look at a score of music you will see many notes, but you must remember that there is music behind the notes. In the same way there are endless good gifts from God stored up for us behind the angelic utterance: the remission of our wrongs, reconciliation with our God, courage and composure in trial; and the peace of God that surpasses all understanding.
Only let us always be as humble, as we are joyful, when we sing the Holy Sanctus!
Let us lay aside all earthly care and lift up our hearts unto the Lord our God.
Let us fall down at his altar and hymn our Lord with songs of thankfulness and praise.
Let us tremble with anticipation for the moment when the cleansing coal of his Body and Blood makes contact with us to take away our guilt, and atone for our sins. For this Holy Communion is nothing less than the flesh and blood of the Great Physician of body and soul; Jesus Christ our Lord and our God.
And let our lives, too, be thrice holy when we leave this Mount of Transfiguration and return to our vocations. This is what our Lord tells us in St. Matthew, “You shall be holy for I the Lord your God am holy,” which is much benediction as command.
Let us keep a gate on our lips, but also on our minds and hearts so that no sordid or squalid thoughts may enter into us, or come out of us. How much more peaceful will our lives then be, even in this valley of tears, when we learn to do that?
Come now all you who labor and are heavy laden with sadness and despair. Come to the altar where God’s angel will touch your lips with the burning coal to cauterize your bleeding soul.
Then like Isaiah, and like Jesus himself, you can eagerly say to your God with cleansed lips: Here am I, send me, send me. Amen