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  • Writer's pictureDavid Carlson

December 28, 2023: We can all become prophets of our own time. We are all needed….

Thursday, December 28, 2023

We can all become prophets of our own time.

We are all needed….

Reflection: Choosing to be a prophet by Steven Charleston

Prophets do not arise out of a vacuum. They are part of the apocalyptic process. They appear first as an early warning system within any culture at risk. They fulfill the classic role of the prophet as herald of a vision of what is to come. Then, as the apocalypse becomes ever more real, they serve as teachers to instruct people about what to do to end the suffering and alter the course of destruction. Finally, they are mystics who describe the future and guide people to find it within themselves.

In carrying out these roles in the apocalyptic process, the prophet strives to stand on solid ground, even while the earth beneath their feet is moving. That is, prophets not only talk about the future but the past. They ground their prophecy in the bedrock spiritual traditions of their people. They recall the ancient stories and covenants between the divine and human beings. They reinterpret ancient teachings and remind people of old promises. Prophets are immersed in tradition even as they talk about how that tradition will need to change to meet new apocalyptic challenges.

I invite you to join me in becoming a prophet.… It does not matter what your race or religion may be. It does not matter what age or gender you are. We can all become prophets of our own time. We are all needed….

We are all prophets. We are not divine messengers. We do not speak for God. We are not miracle workers or moral judges. Instead, we are … human beings living in extraordinary times. We are what the Hopi are: communities seeking a spiritual purpose to their lives. We are question askers. We are vision seekers. We strive to be common-sense advocates for what will work best to help our people.…

Believe in yourself. You are a prophet. You are already making your migration. You have been chosen because you have been born. You are a prophet because you are awake. You are a keeper of revelation: a person with a thought that may create a new world. Do not hide that piece of the sacred tablet, for the time is short, but give it to as many as you can, as often as you can, until the apocalypse becomes a blessing.

Excerpted from:

Steven Charleston, In his book We Survived the End of the World, Choctaw elder and retired Episcopal bishop Steven Charleston writes about how prophets arise in periods of crisis or “apocalypse” to chart a message of resilience and hope.

Link to full Reflection

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