Prophets from the Scriptures are people like you and I. Sure, there were moments that they lived in ways that were less than desirable. Elijah fleeing from a woman comes to mind! Overall, what we see in the lives of the prophets is a willingness to live in ways that invite others to something beyond themselves. The more I try to follow Jesus the more I am coming to believe that God didn’t just want the prophets to live in ways that call others to something beyond themselves, but that God wants you and I to do that as well!
John the Baptist is a fascinating character, he is the one that Jesus says “among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist…” Jesus says some other things, but what we see in John and other prophets before him is a call to another way of life. The prophets lived and talked in a way that even when people disagreed with them, they knew there was a connection to something more!
I cannot help but think how I used to hear a loud voice yelling in the wilderness when I think of John and his call to repentance. Maybe the loud voice wasn’t loud at all. Maybe it exuded such a passion that it was inexplicable. Maybe the call to repentance was a plea of hope for what could be. An invitation to join in the relationship with the Father the way the Father had always wanted.
What John was calling those hearers too is something that he could not quite understand, but he knew it was life-changing. It is God made flesh, who dwelt among us. It is the Spirit of that One dwelling in us, in such a way that it reshapes and remakes us in a way we have never been before.
Our repentance brings us to a place where we are humbled in such a way that we can finally be known and know fully the God of all. It is us coming raw, vulnerable, with our souls laid bare and recognizing no matter how together we are, we are all in need of something more. We may have great homes and sweet rides, but there is something in us that knows there must be more. We have tried to fill it with sex, drugs, alcohol, consumerism, self help, careers, family, exercise or anything else that we may call good or worthy, but there is something that beckons us to more. The more is the voice that calls in the wilderness and calls in the city streets, it is the voice that calls in the quiet space and in a packed concert, it is the one that joins together the universe and invites us into a relationship that changes the very essence of us to a place in which we are connected to the divine. The divine that we celebrate in the birth of Jesus.
This voice calls us to itself and then when we have heard the Voice we are called to share about the voice and what it beckons us to. It calls us to live in the ways of the prophets before us. To call others to another way, a deeper way, a way that is simple and deep, founded in relationships with one another and the creator. Relationships that are joyous and lighthearted and at the same time carry a depth that is profound.
What if you and I lived in the way of the prophets? What if our life and words echoed a connection to eternity? What if we “Lived in the Way of the Prophets?”