Jan 19, 2024 |
WLSU, A Nation of Prophets| The Rev. Philip DeVaul
WLSU, A Nation of Prophets
This is where the prophet comes in.
The prophet, you see, is like a voice in the wilderness of complacency, greed, and vanity who tells us what God sees when looking at the world we’re building.
Put in those terms, maybe we’re not a nation of priests these days. Maybe we’re a nation of prophets: A culture of people who feel as if God is compelling each and every one of us to speak our minds at all costs. The advent of social media has created not just the opportunity, but the pressure to make sure we have opinions and that we share them widely. At least in this country, there is far more emphasis on stating your values than on embodying them.
I don’t say this to demonize social media: It can be such a powerful connector and community builder, and the relationships we build there are not fake. They are real and they matter. But it is a radical change in the way we communicate and we are just at the beginning of understanding how it is changing us. The same platform that allows us to share photos and memories with distant loved ones also supplies us with false conspiracy theories and helps us to organize insurrections. That’s a lot for us to digest.
Likewise, I don’t mean to denigrate the prophetic voice. We need people in our lives who will speak hard truths, who will point both to our failings and to the hope of our shared future. But the prophet’s lone responsibility is to tell the truth. The prophet does not have stick around and make the change happen. A nation of prophets may write trenchant and forceful words.Sometimes we may even predict the future. But if we’re not intentional, we may find our focus shifting to people knowing what we believe, where we stand, what we think or know about any given issue.
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