Living the Word

"Oh, king of kings, we kneel before you, asking for peace in the rest of the country. Reveal yourself, reveal yourself, Almighty!" The lyrics of "King of Kings," by South African group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, indicate their confidence that God revealed is peace itself. But the reactions of those to whom God revealed God’s self in scripture reflect anything but peace. Jeremiah and Isaiah are both overcome with feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. Jeremiah attempts to get out of his calling. And though he’s willing, Isaiah cannot call his attempts at conversion very successful, for he is ultimately killed by his own people. The disciples, however, so enjoy their glimpse of heaven that they offer to set up camp and "make three tents, one for [Jesus], one for Moses, and one for Elijah" (Luke 9:33). They prefer to dwell in the vision of the kingdom instead of making the vision a reality on earth by struggling through the suffering and hardship of discipleship.

And the life of Jesus brings us yet another unexpected revelation of the divine: God as human, God who suffered and died, and who, Paul assures us, has "been raised from the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:20). This fact brings another aspect of God revealed: a God who loves and cares for us in body and spirit, who knows our physical hungers and sorrows, and who promises that ours "is the kingdom of God" (Luke 6:20).

Michaela Bruzzese is a free-lance writer living in Chile.

February 1

Prophets to the Nations

Jeremiah 1:4-10; Psalm 71:1-6; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30

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Sojourners Magazine February 2004
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