Here am I; send me! (@revpamsmith)

 

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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, the Lord 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!

Isaiah 6.5-9

The Book of Isaiah is the first book of the prophets in the Hebrew bible. The spiritual gift of prophecy is often thought to be about foretelling the future, but prophets are more often used by God to speak into situations where people are not listening to him. Isaiah Prophets often point out things that people are choosing to ignore, and may not always be received positively!

Of course, as Christians, we should speak the truth; but some of us are called to speak uncomfortable truths that others would rather ignore, or to point out things that other people may not be able to see.

Prophecy is mentioned in the letters of St Paul as one of many gifts that may be given to members of the church to be used to edify, or build up, the body of Christ. We are not all called to prophesy, but if we are, it is to be done in a way that builds up and encourages rather than destroys.

As digital disciples, if we are called to speak prophetically, we have the opportunity to exercise this gift online – but how should we set about it?

Those with large followings may choose to use their digital platform to ‘broadcast’ their views and insights. Some Twitter accounts belonging to well known Christians are used to post a stream of bible verses and wise sayings by famous Christians from the past. Such posts may provide inspiration or challenge, but they are not being used interactively. They are the digital equivalent of the posters with bible verses on them that are still posted at railway stations and other busy places to provide the maximum number of sightings.

True prophecy is personal. Isaiah speaks directly to the kings he is called to advise, regardless of the danger than might put him in – God has given him words to speak to a specific context. Equally, to use a prophetic gift in the digital space, we need to be in relationship with those we are called to speak to, so that we may speak truth in love, remembering that

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know only in part, and we prophesy only in part; but when the complete comes, the partial will come to an end.

1 Corinthians 13.4-7

To read more about Isaiah see the about religion website:

http://christianity.about.com/od/oldtestamentbooks/qt/isaiahintro.htm

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