Sunday, January 3, 2010

Sun. Jan. 3, 2010 (Henry Neufeld)

Henry Neufeld spoke on the general theme of prophecy. Both the Jewish and Christian canons of scripture consider prophets and prophecy to be very important. For example, in Hebraic scriptures, Jeremiah is portrayed as a vociferous critic of government, of its economic and foreign policies and of institutionalized religion. Jeremiah felt led to make dramatic gestures which enlarged his audiences and got the attention of the wealthy who held the power in his society. He smashed earthen pots before officials, prophesying that a similar fate awaited those listening to him. Each of his actions is portrayed as a parable for his society, telling them about justice, peace, social ills and reminding them of their obligations to the poor. New Testament writers continued to revere prophets such as John the Baptizer, another critic of both the wealthy and those seeking to retain laws and political parties which would hopefully protect their privileged position and property holdings. Prophecy is listed as one of the truly important spiritual gifts, but where are the prophetic voices of today, voices which speak to the dominant culture, articulating ideas which will invariably upset middle class Christians and non-Christians alike? What voices are trying to arouse us to action over police violence, our military presence in Afghanistan, Vancouver’s forcefully relocating our homeless people for a sporting event, or churches spending vast sums of charitable donations on legal battles? Why do these voices come from outside the church rather than from believers? Is prophecy within the church now dead? [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, Jan. 3rd, 2010 using your browser's preferred media player.



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