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I cannot be here. I should not be here.

He knew he was unworthy. He could hardly lift his head.

The sound was almost deafening. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts!” It was a sound unlike he had ever heard before, yet also strangely familiar. Terrifying, yet comforting all at the same time. “The whole earth is full of his glory!”

He raised his hand to shield his eyes from the brilliant light. They were still there, these fearsome beings he had only imagined as a child. He peered past them to the figure sitting on the throne, high and lifted up. One glance, and he was flat on his face again.

“Woe is me!” he murmured as he rose tentatively to his knees, his head still low, his arms raised in desperation. “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.”

He felt a movement of air and saw out of the corner of his eye a figure move swiftly to his left. He glanced up. One of the beings was doing something at the altar. It turned, and the man lowered his face once again in fear.

He felt a presence hovering above him. A strong hand took his arm and pulled him to his knees. The being raised his hand in which he held a burning coal from the altar. He placed it on the man’s lips.

A sharp, burning sting struck the man, but quickly it turned to a comforting warmth that spread down his face into his body. He felt somehow stronger, somehow refreshed.

Somehow forgiven.

“Behold,” the being said, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away, and your sin atoned for.”

 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.
(Isaiah 6:1)

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is director of doctoral worship studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.