Sometimes ordinary words just won’t do, will they? Ordinary words can’t capture immense fear, the beauty of a magnificent sunset, or the love for a child. Ordinary words could not capture the experience of Isaiah when he received his call to be a prophet for Yahweh.
The time is roughly 742 BC, the year that King Uzziah died. Uzziah had reigned in Judah, the southern kingdom, for more than 40 years. And by most standards, he had been quite successful. He had repaired the defenses of Jerusalem, reorganized the army, and secured many trade routes running through Judah. He was a strong king, but he died, as the book of Chronicles tells us, because he was punished by God for his proud power. It was in this same year, when the country was mourning his death and wondering what the future would bring, that Isaiah saw his vision. Found in the first part of today’s reading in Isaiah, chapter 6.