Daily Reflection
December 11th, 2004
Jeanne Schuler
Philosophy Department
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The Trouble with Prophets

Here he comes.  Quick, dodge out of sight, close the door, don’t answer the phone.  This one brings trouble.

We honor prophets at a distance.  Up close we squirm.  “Beat your swords into plowshares…do not train for war again.”  Scripture so often leaves us in a quandary.  What do we do with these troubling lines?  I name my son John.  But I run from the locust eater who calls me out into the desert.

You send them to announce your coming, to make straight the path, to rouse us from our slumber.  We pray for comfort: please let us sleep.  Their words do not soothe.  They shatter our pretense.  We are revealed.

The season is upon us.  Joy is scribbled everywhere and holiday music pumps through the air.  We make plane reservations, clip coupons, write lists, and watch the bank account shrink.  Still into our crowded life creeps a persistent call. 

You call us back.  We thought love meant perfection.  But there you are alongside the criminals, with the homeless, in the ditch.  An illegitimate child struggling to stay warm.  Travelers far from home at the mercy of strangers.  You open our eyes and give us this world.  It is enough.  You are enough. You call us to become real.

We wanted our Advent lite.  In your mercy, you send fire instead.  

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