“And a young man ran and told Moses, ‘Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.'” – Numbers 11:27
“But others sneered and said, ‘They are filled with new wine.'” – Acts 2:13
Oh, what we would not give for prophecy with order.
These seventy we know.
These two we will ignore.
Oh, what we would not give for prophecy predictable.
to tell us what we know.
Your Spirit raises prophets without due regard to order.
We’d all do well with twelve.
We’ve no great need for more.
With twelve we’d know the words before the prophets even voice them,
saving time, so much time
we might have to discern.
Why is the Spirit’s call so destructive of our order?
We know our daily ways.
We follow our set hours
Until a strident voice, just like the nails upon a blackboard
unsettles our assurance
and overturns our peace.
Oh, have your own way, Spirit, in the wreckage of our order.
They’ll call us drunk, you know,
Or they’ll run and tattletale.
With Moses, Peter, Matthias, we’ll join the Spirit’s order
alongside Eldad, Mary, Justus,
Medad – and Mary, too.
A poem/prayer based on Acts 2:1-21 and Numbers 11:24-30, the Revised Common Lectionary First Reading and Alternate First Reading for Year A, Pentecost Sunday.
The image is Moses Elects the Council of Seventy Elders by Jacob de Wit (1737) – AQGtI5P6nkpYyw at Google Cultural Institute maximum zoom level, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21988106.
This lectionprayer gets a lot of inspiration from Maren Tirabassi’s Blessing the Dice and Barbara Messner’s Variations on Pentecost.
4 thoughts on “Are They Prophets, Too?”
Wow — this is so amazing and true. Thanks so much for the shout-out, too.
Thank you for the inspiration!
Thanks from me too Eric, and there’s so much I relate to in this when I lament the stuckness of the Anglican institution in Australia with its set hours and ways and limits. Sometimes it feels as if we are only allowed to tell people what they already know, and that it might only be in a wreckage of our order that the Spirit can have its way.
Theologically, I think that Spirit can have her way whatever orderly stumbling blocks we raise. Emotionally (and to a degree spiritually) I’m with you. I don’t see the way.