|ps from ps… Do you have a nickname? What’s it from? Who gave it to you? Why do you have it? Does it describe some part of your name, personality or role in the world?|
One of my nicknames is Little Bigs. Not because I’m Chick Biegner’s son but because my older sister Chris, who I hung out with a lot as I was growing up, was nicknamed: Bigs. So when I was still smaller than her, her friends would call me: Little Bigs. Pretty simple.
Jesus had lots of names/nicknames: Rabbi, King of Kings, Holy One, Emmanuel and the list goes on. As the church, we celebrate most of them. The one we probably highlight the least though would be his trickiest nickname: Prophet. Because sometimes prophetic words and actions make us really uncomfortable and take us out of our comfort zones. A prophet is one that speaks God’s future into reality, speaks truth to power and speaks out against evil in the present reality.
In the gospel lesson coming up for this week, Jesus, in full prophetic mode, goes into the temple and starts turning the money changer’s tables upside down, sending them packing. He does this because it’s not the way of God and not what God wants us focused on. His prophetic role in the world becomes tangible. His prophetic nickname is worn on his sleeve as he tries again to restore the people and temple to who and what they were designed to be. Restoration.
I know most of us like the Healer Jesus, the Feeder Jesus and the Savior Jesus. Much cozier and easier to swallow. But sometimes the prophet needs to flip those tables over. Sometimes the only thing that gets through to us and the world is when things get tipped upside down. Sometimes so many layers of “blah” get laid on top of God’s good news and right pathway that some less subtle measures are needed.
Do you need a prophetic word brought into your life today? Are there tables of yours that need to be flipped?
Or maybe do you need to be that prophetic voice for someone you know, some community you live in? Is it time for you to help speak that hard word that won’t win you any “citizen of the year” awards from some but would bring new life to others?
Could Prophet be the nickname you need to live into today?
As our Lenten Restoration continues, consider your prophetic role in it. What tables do you see that might need to be flipped over?
Lord, if there’s a table that isn’t set for you, call me to flip it if that’s what the good news needs Amen
Still in One Peace,