"Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hands, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar; and he laid it upon my mouth and said: "Lo this hath touched thy lips, and thine iniquity is taken away and thy sin purged." Isaiah 6:6,7, By request!
There is a deep and holy meaning in Isaiah's vision of the live coal from the altar of God. Something like that happens whenever we enter the house of God. The living fire of His Word touches our hearts, and our iniquities are taken away, and our sins are purged. We go out into the world strong and clean and unashamed.
In the ancient Temple of Jerusalem it was the duty of the priest early in the morning before daybreak to go into the darkness before the altar to clear away the ashes. He was not allowed to carry a lamp, but walked in the light of the altar fire.
We too have a light upon our altar. It is the eternal light of the Word. When the world grows dark and weary, we can walk by the light from the altar. When our hearts grow cold with sin and fear, we can warm them with the fire of the divine Word. We can see its glow in the night of sorrow, and the light of it will guide us through every hour of loneliness and pain.
Christian friends, May your own altar fire always remain burning and bright. Stay forever close to the Word of our living Savior, and have a steady light and a glowing fire all the days of your years.
Come Holy Ghost, and touch my tongue As with a living flame; I want the sanctifying grace My Savior bids me claim.
Come, Holy Ghost, with sacred fire Baptize this heart of mine; Break every earthly idol down, And all its dross refine.
Come, Holy Ghost, the blood apply As Thou hast ne'er before, That I may shout my Savior's praise Henceforth and evermore.