Sat, 27 January 2018
(Dt.18:15-20; Ps.95:1-2,6-9; 1Cor.7:32-35; Mk.1:21-28)
“A prophet like me will the Lord, your God,
raise up for you from among your own kin.”
Thus does Moses speak to the people as he prepares to leave them, and they prepare to enter the Promised Land. He prophesies most immediately the anointing of Joshua, who will take his place as leader of the Israelite nation and guide them into the holy land, as well as all the prophets who shall follow… but most especially, of course, he hereby prophesies the coming of the only Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will be raised up from among us, a man as we are, to be God in our midst. No greater fulfillment of this promise could there be: no more real could God make His presence known to us. Here on this earth He stands, and speaks.
Our reading from Deuteronomy makes clear the nature and role of the prophet; in this passage we see the inception of this gift, of this power God gives to man. When the people begged Moses, “Let us not again hear the voice of the Lord, our God, nor see this great fire anymore,” for fear of death after having witnessed the Lord’s most powerful theophany at Mount Horeb, the Most High answered them and promised instead, “I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their kin, and will put my words into his mouth; he shall tell them all that I command him.” Here is the very definition of a prophet: one who speaks for God. Out of a prophet’s mouth come the words of the Lord, not his own.
And what a Prophet is Jesus! And, of course, so much more than a prophet – the only Son. “For He taught them as one having authority”; His words of rebuke: “Quiet! Come out of him!” cast out all unclean spirits… His power is immeasurable as God’s power is immeasurable – all is in His hands and at the command of His voice. For His words are not His own (though intimately His own); they are His Father’s. He does only the Father’s will and so is the Father’s Son. In them together the Spirit moves! Upon all regions of the earth His Word goes forth.
“Oh, that today you would hear His voice,” brothers and sisters, and “bow down in worship before Him,” knowing who is here before you now and consecrating yourself entirely to Him. Then you would but “sing joyfully” and be filled with “thanksgiving” as, free from sin, from all darkness – from all that is unclean – you come to full union with the promised One of all the ages and make your home in His heart, obedient to His blessed, protective commands, and so find yourself “free of anxieties” as you think only of “how [you] may please the Lord.” Alleluia! He has come.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Speaking for God" from The Whole Whale, eighth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, let us listen to your Son, Jesus,
who speaks with your authority.
YHWH, let us listen to your voice, O God, and the voice of your only Son, for with authority He speaks in your Name, greater than all the prophets. He Himself is God, one with you before time, and so should we not bow down and worship Him; should we not heed His Word? If we desire salvation, we cannot but listen to Him.
Why should we doubt Him who commands even the unclean spirits, whose word is as your own, LORD, able to bring the world into existence, or bring it to an end. If we but trust in Him and listen to His teaching, this same authority we will share; nothing will be able to distract us from serving you and becoming as your Son.
Cast out all the demons from us, LORD, that we might be free to hear your voice clearly and worship you with a pure heart. As we kneel before you and praise you for your Son, may we indeed become the flock He guides and so enter into your presence.