I’ve been reading the prophets of Israel in the Old Testament recently. It’s as if the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls.
From prophet to priest everyone deals falsely. They have treated he wound of my people carelessly, saying, “Peace, peace,” when there is no peace…
They have grown strong in the land for falsehood, and not for truth; they have taught their tongues to speak lies….
The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved. For the hurt of my poor people I am hurt, I mourn, and dismay has taken hold of me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has the health of my poor people not been restored….
Thus says the LORD: “Do not let the wise boast in their wisdom, do not let the mighty boast in their might, do not let the wealthy boast in their wealth; but let those who boast boast in this, that they understand and know me, that I am the LORD; I act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth, for in these things I delight,” says the LORD….from Jeremiah
Even in the painful work of truth telling, an authentic prophetic voice will always hold out hope. Maybe not for tomorrow or for next week, but hope fhat God’s justice will surely come within the long arc of history.
Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: “Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease.
“But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “Do not let the prophets and the diviners who are among you deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them,” says the LORD.
For thus says the LORD: “Only when Babylon’s seventy years are completed will I visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.
For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope…”Jeremiah 29
Stay faithful, people of faith (people of ALL faiths). Stay focused, stay engaged, stay hopeful.
No matter what happens in our time, nonetheless, it is OUR time and we hold the future in our hands.
Not just tomorrow, but the next day and the next four years, until we take our last breath: we are (and we will remain) the guardians of the future.
May we never cease “to act with steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth.”
Grace, Peace and Hope to you and yours.