..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Relentless Hope of the Prophet

Prophetic speech, finally, is not an act
of criticism. It is rather an act of
relentless hope that refuses to despair
and that refuses to believe that the world
is closed off in patterns of exploitation
and oppression.

It stands against a closed present tense
that is either excessively complacent about
social relations or excessively despairing
about an unbearable present tense. This speech
knows that such closed-off life inevitably
produces brutality, the child of despair,
either out of strident control or out of
hopelessness. It dares to assert in any
and every circumstance the conviction
known since Abraham and Sarah and Moses
and Aaron, namely, that there is a God
who can and will make all things new,
even in the face of our most closed-down,
self-satisfied present tense.

This is what the text means when it asserts
that God works an impossibility in order that
“all the earth may know that there is a God
in Israel” (1 Sam. 17:46).

"Like Fire in the Bones"
Walter Brueggemann

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