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
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.