Job description: challenge the status quo, push people to grow and stretch themselves, be directly accountable to God
Many jobs can be thankless. Among them the job ‘prophet’ could be pretty high on a lot of people’s lists. For most that were called in the Bible,”Yes!” was not their first reaction.
Prophets of old and prophets today have pretty much the same role. A prophet has two primary job functions. The first is to keep people oriented towards God. A prophet calls us to live our lives with God at the center, following His ways and commands. This runs counter to what the world so often tries to tell us and is therefore difficult. A prophet tells us that ‘me’ does not come first.
The second role is to call for justice and equality for those whose voices are not heard by the those in power and in positions that can affect change. A prophet calls for the care of the weak, for fair treatment of all, and for the stranger to be welcomed into our midst. These calls too run counter to society’s norms. A prophet tells us to give of ourselves and to become less so that others can become more.
Today most of us like to be comfortable, to maintain the status quo. Change can be hard. No wonder being a prophet is difficult. But a faith that is not active and growing, bringing light into darkness, is dead. That is not a good place to be.
May we learn to hear and welcome the prophet’s voice, both for what it calls us to spiritually and for the words spoken on behalf of the poor and powerless, words that bring hope, healing, justice, and love.
Scripture reference: Deuteronomy 18: 15-20