Advent 2: In the News

A few days ago the “45 Most Powerful Images of 2011” were released on a site called Buzzfeed.  Take a look at these gripping reminders of what the world has been through in the past year.

When I was in seminary, the other students and I got excited when we read the headlines.  We got excited because we all wanted to be “prophetic,” meaning that each of our activities — from internships to sermons — would be designed to challenge the ruling powers of the day.  Our seminary joke was, “I feel like Jeremiah”:  we nerdy and well-fed kids were a little too quick to compare ourselves to giants of the faith.  Thankfully, we were able to laugh at our self-importance.  I discovered when I took my first call that prophecy is hard work, and half the time, I don’t even know what the prophetic response to a situation would be.

Yet when you look at images such as those on Buzzfeed, how can you not yearn for a prophet?  Someone needs to come along and tell us what all the violence and suffering means.  Someone needs to come along to show us another way.

Perhaps the church’s call for the 21st century is to bring out those prophets.  If we paid more attention to Isaiah and Jeremiah and Hosea, perhaps some ordinary church member would hear the call coming through those ancient words.  I live for the day when someone tells me that they spoke up against some injustice or another, because of what they learned at church.

We’ve all seen what’s in the news.  What is God calling us to do about it?

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