by Ed Rowell

Face to Face with Holiness
Ed Rowell
Isaiah 6:1-10

A few years ago, a woman in Kansas City walked into a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop at the Plaza shopping center. While waiting, she turned to find actor Paul Newman standing behind her! He was in town filming the movie "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge," and was now standing behind his biggest fan.

He smiled at her and said "hello." She took one look at those legendary blue eyes and her knees almost buckled. Her heart was in her throat. She tried to speak, but not a sound came out. Mortified, she turned around, paid for her ice cream, then quickly walked out of the store.

Outside, she sat down on a bench and caught her breath. As she calmed down, she realized she didn't have her ice cream cone. She was debating walking back in to get it when Paul Newman walked out. "You looking for your ice cream cone?" he asked. Speechless again, she nodded. "You put it in your purse with your change."

If you or I were to come face to face with a celebrity we admire, I imagine most of us would behave in much the same way. Our generation is infatuated with "The Celebrity." Movie stars, rock stars and athletic superstars dominate the headlines of our magazines and tabloids. We love to read about their lavish lifestyles and ruined relationships. And though basketball star Charles Barkley emphatically stated, "I am not a role model," our children inevitably list media personalities when asked to name their heroes.

I wonder, we who get so excited about meeting a celebrity--why is it that we can enter into the presence of God through worship with a yawn and a shrug?

Throughout biblical history, just a handful of people were given glimpses of God, and they all struggled to describe what happened. Perhaps the clearest record of such an encounter was recorded by the prophet Isaiah.

Isaiah described the circumstances surrounding his encounter with God. "In the year King Uzziah died..." This tells us not only when this ...

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