A Sneak Peek

This week I am taking a break from my more usual prayers or musings and sharing  an excerpt from my new book, Barefoot Theology:  A Dictionary for Pilgrims, Priests and Poets (in press).

242

Prophet

Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Amos, Hosea and
many others whose names we recognize
risked everything to relay a message
to the wandering people of God
who did not welcome the call
to repent or the predictions of devastation
resulting from sin piled on sin
in the captivity of lesser gods
who made them all forget the God
whose breath fills their lungs
and will gather them all
and call them by name once more

These were the men of old who responded
to God’s claim on their lives with a sometimes
reluctant “here am I” going where
God sent them to deliver news of
destruction or restoration depending
on the circumstances
What of today?

Surely there are no prophets running around
credibly predicting the end of the world
or the ruination of God’s people
all the while claiming to quote God
word for word?

We are still a wandering people
those of us who make up the body of Christ
easily losing the path of grace
when confronted with other ways less
demanding than the church

There may not be a voice calling in the wilderness
though I’ve heard more than one prediction
of the church dying out while clinging to ways
that no longer glorify God or
bring salvation to the people

Prophets walk among us today
hidden in the many who cry out
their messages are the ones that unsettle
us and make our pews less comfortable
with a call to change our ways
to the point of replacing our pews
with couches and chairs
or worshiping outside of our buildings
altogether speaking a language
of change and transformation
that hits too close to home

Unlike those biblical days of yore
most who hear prophetic words
don’t believe the church will cease to be
or that the price for our arrogance could be
a scattering of God’s people
Of course, the others with prophetic
wisdom promise a time when we
will all be gathered in
to share in the harvest
if we would only listen
and change our ways

God will build up the Body of Christ
into a new and unexpected shape

Let us pay heed to those disquieting voices
and listen attentively to those who speak
the Word even when no one wants to hear

RCL- Year C – Twenty-second Sunday after Pentecost – October 20, 2013
Jeremiah 31:27-34 with Psalm 119:97-104 or
Genesis 32:22-31 with Psalm 121 and
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5 and
Luke 18:1-8

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