Wednesday, December 13
Courage to Speak
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
The time had come for God to give Ezekiel his mission... go and speak God's words to the rebellious house of Israel. God gave Ezekiel God's words on a scroll -- not to recite or memorize, but to ingest, to take the word fully into himself. And God made it quite clear it would be a difficult, if not impossible mission, but that Ezekiel need not be afraid of them. God made him (his forehead) as hard as stone.
It's a common experience that sometimes doing the right thing is terrifying. Like Ezekiel eating the scroll that tasted of honey, often doing the right thing is completely satisfying -- enough that you know it's right. At the same time, the fear of retribution is palpable. What will they say? What will they think? What will they do?
Bambadjan Bamba is a Hollywood actor and filmmaker who recently came out as undocumented. His story is all too common in the states right now. Hard working, upstanding citizens are living in fear because of the current political climate. It was probably difficult and scary for him to speak out now -- what if they repeal his DACA status? What will they do to him if DACA itself is eliminated? But his courage to speak out gives voice to many who have no voice. Here is his story.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Ezekiel 2:1-3:11
He said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.
And you, O mortal, do not be afraid of them, and do not be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns surround you and you live among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words, and do not be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. You shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear; for they are a rebellious house. But you, mortal, hear what I say to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe.
He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey. He said to me: Mortal, go to the house of Israel and speak my very words to them. For you are not sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel— not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. Like the hardest stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not fear them or be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. He said to me: Mortal, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears; then go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them. Say to them, “Thus says the Lord God”; whether they hear or refuse to hear.