In biblical times the prophet was a weird beast – someone who dined on locusts and wild honey, dressed in the skins of wild animals (if they dressed at all), someone whose peculiar actions made people stand up and take notice as they communicated God’s messages to His people. I believe God still speaks to us today through prophets, albeit in unlikely packages. Consider the drawings of Leunig and his remarkable insights into our culture and the struggles of humanity. Or listen a while to the sultry tones of introspect Nick Cave as he reflects on God in the house. And the modern day prophet may also wear sunglasses 24/7, singing about “when love comes to town”. Maybe calling musician and activist Bono a modern day prophet is going too far. However, love him or hate him (I am of the former since the release of the all time fave “Joshua Tree), Bono is standing up and saying a few timely words to the leaders of our nations, and the world is noticing. Check out his speech at the Presidential breakfast. Bono calls for justice not charity. A standout comment for me was his reflection on blessings. How often do we as Christians seek God to bless what we are doing? Bono brings an appropriate correction to this – lets seek to join in what God is doing – it is already blessed.
Political signage is littering the roadscape as we approach election time, and I find it interesting to see how candidates promote themselves. Suave smiling suits with catchy slogans, or not. I spotted the text only Families First billboard – “Vote 1 for Family First – Put your family first”. Now I probably have a slightly different perspective on the concept on account of a dramatic new addition to my life called Jemima, however, this sign smacks of individualism. Put YOUR family first. Not the one down the road, the struggling single mother, the manual labourer and father of three who works achingly long hours for a few cents more than unemployment benefits. NO, this is a call to put MY family first. Now of course I want the best for my family. But who is my family? Jesus himself asked the question, and the answer encompassed so much more than Mary and Joseph. As Christians with a political voice, surely our “family” must likewise must extend beyond ourselves. Our “family” must include the oppresssed, the poor, the disadvantaged, single people. Maybe they should put “PEOPLE FIRST“.