Surrounded by Prophetic Voices – Clouds of Witnesses that Call Us Out of Numbness

surrounded by ordinary saints

surrounded by ordinary saints - Emmanuel Garibay

Today is All Saints Day, and like many who celebrate this festival I have been meditating on the words of Hebrews 12:1,2 this morning which I quote here from the Living New Testament.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.

At the same time I have been mulling over the invitation to participate in this month’s synchroblog which reads:

Richard Rohr says “the role of the prophets is to call us out of numbness.” Since the beginning of time, prophetic voices both in and outside of scripture have been calling us to consider change of some sort. Sometimes it is spiritual change, other times it may be economic, political, or systemic change. Regardless of the emphasis, prophets challenge us to consider a better future. Right now there’s a strong sense of change brewing in the church, the world; people are rising up and calling individuals, communities, nations, and everything in between out of numbness and toward justice, mercy, equality, and love. Read more

The voices that have called me out of numbness this year are many and varied. There is much change in the wind and I know that I need to listen closely to hear what God is saying. In many ways it has been a hard year, starting with the death of a good friend in the Christchurch earthquake speeding through an extremely busy summer with our annual Celtic retreat on Camano Island, preparing to launch the Pacific NW Sustainability Semester away program next September, relaunching our MSA ezine in January and  putting together Waiting for the Light our latest Advent/Christmas resource from MSA. But it has also been a very good year, beginning with the celebration of my 60th birthday and new ministries emerging in the writing of prayers and the expansion of the MSA garden team.

All of these events have brought me into contact with a rich array of people across the world, many of whom have spoken into my life in prophetic ways. For me this year the prophetic voices have not been well known inspirational speakers or cutting edge theologians. They have been the ordinary people who surround and support Tom and me and the MSA team and ministry. People who comment on this blog and constantly challenge me to walk with integrity and live the talk. People who encourage me to keep writing, praying and speaking out when I feel discouraged.  People who support us when we come up with ideas like the Mustard Seed Village that sometimes sound more like si-fi imagining than reality.

All of us are prophetic voices for someone. Any time we encourage, support or cheer for someone to make decisions for a more just, more generous, more loving life we are being prophetic. We are helping bring their dreams for the future into being and that is I think what being prophetic is all about.