Much of the Bible is about ordinary people. Mary and Joseph were extraordinarily important common folk. Mary sang about her social lowliness. Many biblical heroes were plain people, like Esther, Ruth, Amos, Peter and Mary Magdalene.
Some of the stories revolve around kings (or emperors), queens and prophets. The monarchs operated from centers of power, where they would impose their will on their subjects who sometimes were in far-flung places. For example, we’re told Joseph and Mary made their way to Bethlehem due to a census/tax degree imposed by Emperor Augustus.
The prophets operated from centers of Power (often in remote locations), where they would proclaim God’s verdict about the faithfulness of a leader or a nation. What might a biblical prophet say to today’s leaders and/or to our nation as a whole?
Biblical prophets were concerned about what we today call “equal justice under the law.” They spoke for the voiceless and the oppressed. Biblical prophets were counterweights to unbridled power (what we today call “autocratic rule”). Elijah challenged King Ahab and Queen Jezebel. John the Baptist challenged King Herod.
This week we’ll consider some of today’s surprising prophetic voices.