Festival of David Henkel, Pastor and Confessor
Posted on June 15, 2022 byunder
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-13 (NKJV)
6:6 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. 2 Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. 3 And one cried to another and said:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!”
4 And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 So I said:
“Woe is me, for I am undone! Because 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.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. 7 And he touched my mouth with it, and said:
“Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, and your sin purged.”
8 Also 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.”
9 And He said, “Go, and tell this people:
‘Keep on hearing, but do not understand; Keep on seeing, but do not perceive.’
10 “Make the heart of this people dull, and their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; Lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and return and be healed.”
11 Then I said, “Lord, how long?”
And He answered:
“Until the cities are laid waste and without inhabitant, the houses are without a man, the land is utterly desolate,
12 “the Lord has removed men far away, and the forsaken places are many in the midst of the land.
13 “But yet a tenth will be in it, and will return and be for consuming, as a terebinth tree or as an oak, whose stump remains when it is cut down. So the holy seed shall be its stump.”
The thrice-holy God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—
appears to Isaiah in a vision. Isaiah, realizing he is in God’s presence, confesses his sinfulness. “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” He doesn’t confess specific sins that he knows and feels in his heart at that moment. He confesses his sinful nature which is the root cause of his sin. He sees the Lord who is “holy, holy, holy,” and acknowledges his own pollution. The Triune God is gracious and merciful to sinners who are contrite and lament their sinfulness. One of the Seraphim touches an altar coal to Isaiah’s lips, cleansing them so that he may now speak holy things.
The Lord says in Leviticus 19:2, “You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.” We are, by nature, sinful and unclean, so the Triune God cleanses us, not with coals from the temple altar, but with the atonement made by God the Son on the altar of the cross. God the Spirit applies God the Son’s righteousness to us by faith, so that we are holy in God the Father’s sight. Believing we are holy in God’s sight, we strive to live holy lives in all our actions, communications, and thoughts.
Prayer: Almighty and Everlasting God, Who hast given unto us, Thy servants, grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the Eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: we beseech Thee, that Thou wouldest keep us steadfast in this faith, and evermore defend us from all adversities; Who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Festival of David Henkel, Pastor and Confessor
O Lord, hear our prayers to Thee on this day of David Henkel, Thy Confessor and Pastor, that as Thou didst lead him to render faithful service to Thee, Thou wouldst lead us to faithfully confess our hope in Thy salvation, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.