Prophet among the people

In this week’s reading from Deuteronomy (18.15-20), we heard that God will raise up a prophet from among the people, just like Moses. In classical Christian interpretation, that prophet is Jesus. To be sure, Jesus certainly was a prophet, among a few other hats that he wore, but I think there is more. I think the prophet is here.

We live in a time where a lot of people long to hear God’s word and they long to hear it spoken not just in their personal life, but also in our shared, public life. Part of our life in Christ, begun at our baptism and continuing through our daily choice, is emptying ourselves and letting the Spirit fill us and overflow out of us. When we allow ourselves to be filled with the Spirit, we see with Jesus’ eyes, serve with Jesus’ hands, love with Jesus’ heart, and speak God’s word. When we’re living this Spirit-filled life, we fulfill Jesus mission of reconciliation that was left to us, and we become a prophetic people, raised up from among the nations to be a light and a witness to our world.

We live in a Pentecost moment. So many people feel abandoned by God and feel that their faith in Jesus was misplaced or it has been shaken. Maybe we feel like our faith is too thin, or we’ve strayed too far and there is no way back. But here is the truth: that rushing wind, that cleansing flood, that blazing fire which is the Holy Spirit is coming and is here for us. It is here to blow off the dust, the remove the caked on mud, and to burn away the chaff and to leave us renewed, with God’s word in our mouth. When we set aside the “me first” attitude and see the new creation, we want to take the individual and collective risk, step out of the locked room, and like Peter and the other disciples, we want to speak the word God has given us.

God has raised up a prophet from among the people: Us. Let’s rise up together and speak the word we’ve been given. It is a word of love, of healing, of reconciliation, of justice, and of peace.

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