“…I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:4)
In the context of the Book of Jeremiah, it is assumed that the above said promise referred to prophet Jeremiah. Likewise, we often categorize spiritual activities and those concerns to God with priests, evangelists, missionaries and who exclusively do Christian ministry. Nevertheless, the Word of God speaks not to one category of people who are in full-time Christian work but to everyone who believes in Jesus Christ as Lord.
When God “appoints” “prophets”, it is a privilege as well as a responsibility towards humanity and cosmos. Being a prophet is to “forth tell” what is going to happen. This is unlike calling out names and scaring them by saying many things about their lives. The latter is “fore-telling.” It creates more fear than confidence in people. An example of “forth-telling” is when we see a child crawling towards an unwalled well, we foresee that the child heads to danger. We either remove the child from the area or “forth-tell” the danger to the parents or guardians of the child to pick the child away from that dangerous circumstance. This forth-telling is prophetic and it avoids the danger the child faces. Similarly, every Christian needs to be prophetic to save our communities, society and natural resources from damage and danger. The influence of globalization has influenced India in a large way for the past two decades. The commercial corporate and multi-national companies – “principalities and powers…” (Galatians 6:12) in biblical terms sign memorandum with political leaders promising to acquire Special Economic Zones (SEZ) from native tribals and village inhabitants. In many cases, the promises of rehabilitating the natives are unfulfilled. This leads many poor natives to commit mass suicides because they are not able to cope with the new technological machinery and modern know-how. In such situations, should not the prophetic voice be loud and clear to save the innocent dying humanity and the depleting natural resources? God’s voice brings hope when God’s people are prophetic in crisis and grave contexts.Rev.Ebenezer RossDirector, IACS, MCC
Rev. Ebenezer Ross
Director, Institute for Advanced Christian Studies, MCC