Tag Archives: Prophet

Listen

This post is a contribution to the November synchroblog “Calling us out of numbness”  I will post links to the other contributions at the end of this post as they become available.

There is immense silent agony in the world, and the task of man is to be a voice for the plundered poor, to prevent the desecration of the soul and the violation of our dream of honesty. The more deeply immersed I became in the thinking of the prophets, the more powerfully it became clear to me what the lives of the Prophets sought to convey: that morally speaking, there is no limit to the concern one must feel for the suffering of human beings, that indifference to evil is worse than evil itself, that in a free society, some are guilty, but all are responsible.  – Abraham Joshua Heschel

I can’t get behind the idea of a modern day prophet that can tell you what is going to happen in the future or even the idea of someone who “received a word” from God that was intended for another.  I guess I would say that I believe that kind of prophesying has ceased.  However, I do believe that there are modern day prophets who are inspired and used by God – sometimes unknowingly.

I believe there are men and women today who speak with prophetic voices, who not only speak for God but for those who are weak and oppressed.  These prophetic voices often speak against those who allow power, wealth, position and even self-righteousness to blind them to doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God.  These men and women appear to be empowered by a vision of how things should be and could be. They won’t settle for the status quo for the sake of conserving tradition, they won’t be silent in order to avoid offending someone, they won’t turn a blind eye to oppression or injustice, they won’t be quiet. And yet, not everyone who speaks out against injustice can be considered a prophet.  A true prophetic voice is one that is not arrogant and takes no joy in being harsh.  They are more likely to feel sad, or even afraid, rather than angry as they stand firm against those who are obstacles to justice and mercy.  Their role as a prophet has no connection to ambition or power.

When we think about prophetic voices, people who have upset the status quo, who have been willing to accept the dangers that come with stirring up the world, we might think of names like John the Baptist, Jesus, Ghandi, Jeremiah and Martin Luther King; but sometimes prophets are found in unlikely places – sometimes a prophetic voice comes from an unlikely person.

I believe that I have heard a prophetic voice from my friend who has a ministry that focuses on building relationships with homeless people, from my son who is a gay Christian, from a participant in the Occupy Wall Street protest, from an atheist and from a whistle blower … and all of that happened fairly recently.

Let the person who has ears listen!

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Here are the links to the other contribution to this month’s synchroblog:

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