And I said: “Woe is me! I am lost, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; yet my eyes have seen the King, theLord of hosts!” Then one of the seraphs flew to me, holding a live coal that had been taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. The seraph touched my mouth with it and said: “Now that this has touched your lips, your guilt has departed and your sin is blotted out.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!”
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Guilt feels awful. It is the stain that doesn't go away easily. It is a pain that moves around our internal organs fouling any attempt at diagnosing it for anything other than failure on our part. We have big egos and an even bigger sense of guilt. If we can't be righteous, we can, at least, wallow in a pus-oozing vat of guilt. Cauderizing a wound - fire for fire - is excruiating, scarring and the last best hope of effectiveness short of amputation or death. The image of hot coals to confirm the removal of guilt is brutal and spot on. Having someone tell us we are forgiven it simply doesn't work. We need fire. The healing should hurt alot before it feels better. And then there is the firey brutality of the Cross of Christ. Okay, Lord, my sin is not bigger than your Son. I believe you. I am forgiven. What can I do for you today?
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Assist us, Lord, in believing that we are forgiven and sent. Amen.