Questions for Reflection and Discussion (Isaiah 6:1-8)

pen on paper drawing of six-winged seraph

What is the relationship of the seraphim to humanity? Is there one?

Still thinking about Isaiah 6:1-8 for this Sunday; these are questions we may take up in class:

Would you want to experience this vision – or a similar one – yourself? Why or why not? How helpful would it be at the beginning of a mission? What about in the middle of a project? What would make this helpful? What if anything would make it less than helpful?

The text emphasizes the transcendent holiness of the God of Israel. To what extent does this reinforce your current understanding of God? To what extent does it challenge that understanding? In what ways is this depiction of God similar to the way you think about God? In what ways is it different?

In Isaiah’s vision, God is associated with the Temple in Jerusalem. When you think about God, do you think of God as more associated with some places than others? Which one(s)? Why? What are the advantages of associating God with a particular place? What are the disadvantages of doing that?

The heavenly beings identified as seraphs play a large role in this text. What is your reaction to this? What do the seraphs signify, or represent? What are your responses to the seraphs? Why? What seems to be their purpose? Why does this purpose seem to be necessary? If it makes any sense to compare humans and seraphs (it may not), does it seem preferable to be human, or might it be preferable in various ways to be a seraph? Why?

Isaiah in this vision does not hesitate to accept a commission from the God of Israel. What makes Isaiah so different from other Biblical figures we have studied recently? What seems to enable him to respond in this way (can we tell)? Do you think this has to do more with the individual, or with the work being planned, or both?

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About HAT

Heather Thiessen (HAT) is a happily married 60-ish, Bible-reading, Presbyterian Church Sunday School teaching and choir singing, small fuel efficient car driving, still pretty much 2nd wave feminist and generally out lesbian Hoosier mom. (There are no monochrome states.) From time to time she teaches religious studies to students at a small liberal arts college in Louisville, Kentucky.
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