Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Advent Day 3--Speaking the Word

We couldn't be more sure of what we saw and heard—God's glory, God's voice. The prophetic Word was confirmed to us. You'll do well to keep focusing on it. It's the one light you have in a dark time as you wait for daybreak and the rising of the Morning Star in your hearts. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of private opinion. And why? Because it's not something concocted in the human heart. Prophecy resulted when the Holy Spirit prompted men and women to speak God's Word.
2 Peter 1:19-21 from The Message

I will never forget when a seminary student visited Ecumenical House at San Francisco State University, where I was a campus minister. He took one look at our bulletin board, filled with announcements about all sorts of justice issues, protests, and symposiums, and proclaimed, "I want to be a campus minister so that I can say whatever I want!"

What he was implying was that he felt that pastoring a local church would muzzle the message he wanted to proclaim.  Campus ministry, at least through his eyes, offered him a free license to say what he wanted to.

I looked at him like he had two heads.

Preaching, offering the Good News, proclaiming the Word, is not saying what we want to say.  It is allowing the Holy Spirit to speak through us.  It is allowing sighs which are too deep for words to be filled with the breath of God and take shape as the Word.  It requires us to look at the world with open eyes and to have people in our lives who will challenge us to open our eyes further still.  With eyes wide open, we must allow our soul to be disquieted, to feel dis-ease, as we see this world, our communities, ourselves in all their flawed possibilities. It is then and only then that we can begin to bearers of God's prophetic Word.

It is never about saying what we want to say. It is about allowing the Spirit to birth the Word within us, and speaking it aloud. This can happen in a campus ministry, a local church, at your job, and in your family. Wherever we are in community with God's people, we can be bearers of this Word.

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