We had an excellent breakfast yesterday. The food was good (Thanks Mark and Katy). The company was delightful and the discussions were stimulating. Indeed our discussion of Jesus’ prohetic ministry went on for so long that the cooks were beginning to wonder where we had all gone.
With it being Palm Sunday (the story wasexcellently recounted by Julie – thank you.), it seemed appropriate to tackle the final principle in our Jesus Shaped People series – Prophetic Ministry.
We discovered that speaking prophetically was as much about foretelling future events as it was about speaking the word of God into present situations. Jesus used the occasion of his entry into Jerusalem to address the corruption that lay at the heart of the sacrificial system of the Temple, by throwing the money changers out of his Father’s house.
Jesus expects his followers to be like him and to challenge spiritual corruption, social injustice and political abuses of power. A sentiment that is summed up neatly in this verse from Micah.
A remarkable aspect of Jewish teaching is the view that it is our holy action – that is, action filled with holy intent and directed toward God – that that actually free the holy sparks ensnared in all things. God and his glory are joined together again when people act in holiness. Says Martin Buber, ‘The Shekinah (the glory of God) is banished into concealment; it lies tied, at the bottom of every thing, and is redeemed in every thing by man, who, by his own vision or his deed liberates the thing’s soul.’ Isaac Bashevis Singer, the Nobel laureate who wrote marvelous novels exploring aspects of Jewish mysticism, said that “when man chooses virtue, he strengthens all the dimensions of life. Angels…look forward to a man doing a good deed, since this brings joy and strength to the entire world. A good deed helps God and the Divine Presence to unite. A sin, on the other hand, evokes all the gloom in the world.’ We agreed that we would do all we could this week to dispel the gloom.