Epiphany 5 - Year C
Isaiah 6:1-8 (9-13)
The year before old Uzziah died, Isaiah was feeling good. Uzziah's long reign was known for its lack of warfare and its prosperity. Uzziah's early following of his advisor Zechariah had born much good fruit. Surely Uzziah's difficulty with leprosy from one small convening of theocratic law (then equivalent of international treaty) would soon come to an end with his full restoration.
As Uzziah comes to an end it becomes obvious to some that the relative peace and prosperity during his reign of Judah was not going to last long. This political timing brought with it a "thin space" for Isaiah. He becomes realistically separated from those who presumed their past paradigms and politics would suffice. Any difficulty could easily be blamed on the new king and never need to take into account changing economies, relations with former partners, or a new power on the horizon.
Isaiah's guilt of complicity in the former realm and misguided understanding of where security and wholeness lay was taken from him, like morning film from sleepy eyes. From this moment of awaking, Isaiah would not return to the fold of prevailing thought.
It turned out to be easier than first thought to dull the minds of those around Isaiah. Past mantras, such as "no taxes", became a source of weakness, not strength, for the country. When a community is more concerned about sustaining wealth than the poor, it is not only an opening to a thin space of reorientation, but it is the culmination of an era.
May you be "a holy seed in the stump" of our current political transition time. In a coming of "nothingness upon the land" (see The Neverending Story and be sure to get this edition, for the two second color print for the story within the story is well worth the price) may your own response to your guilt of complicity with a past way of denial be transformed into a beacon of hopeful action.