“This is what the Lord God showed me” (Amos 7:1)
This line begins today’s Old Testament lesson from Amos, a line that is repeated in the section for today three times, as God shows Amos three different visions.
Prophets are seers, people who see things that others cannot. They can see big, cosmic events and they can see small, mundane things. They are the voices that call out to us about all the things we have forgotten. We have forgotten who we are. We have forgotten who we serve. We have forgotten where we are going. We have forgotten why we are doing what we are doing.
Prophets are uncomfortable people. Just think of our favorite Advent prophet, John the Baptist, with his strange clothes, strange diet, and his position out in the desert. Where was he pointing to? What vision did he, like Amos, receive from God?
Jerome Berryman in the Godly Play story about the Prophets explains them this way:
“There are… people who come so close to God, and God comes so close to them, that they know what God wants them to say and do. These people are called Prophets. They know the best way.”*
Prophets see the world, at least temporarily, through God’s eyes. They see where we got lost on the road. They see the burdens that slow us down, or make us want to stop. They see the path ahead and point us along the way.
We don’t always accept their wisdom. Often we don’t realize we are lost, and we reject them. They are, after all, uncomfortable people.
But God is close to them, and they are close to God. They know the way, and if we listen, prophets can point us toward a place of renewal, a place of clean hearts and clear steps forward on God’s path.
Post by Carrie Combs
*Berryman, Jerome. The Complete Guide to Godly Play volume 2. New York: Church Publishing, Inc., 2017.