The Prophet Jeremiah by Michaelangelo (public domain, Wikicommons)
Christians throughout history have defined the word “prophet” in biblical terms as those who have been chosen by God and gifted by the Holy Spirit to share God’s message with the world.
To hear how people today understand the word “prophet,” Oldenburg Franciscan Center manager Angela Nevitt (Roesler) recently asked a multicultural audience on Facebook what comes to mind when people hear the word. The first response that came in was, “Hope. [Prophets] are human, too. They sin and doubt, too. Yet, they were chosen and filled with Wisdom. So Hope… The word gives me hope.”
Other responders provided names of prophets, including Kahlil Gibran and Thomas Merton, and still others defined what they understand prophets to be, including: teachers, oracles, messengers of God.
Scripture lover and educator, Lois Jansen of Indianapolis replied that a prophet is “one who listens to the times, hears the heartbeat of God in the ordinary, and speaks of God’s tenderness and justice.”
Beginning on Thursday, February 21st at Oldenburg Franciscan Center, Sister Barbara Leonhard, OSF will be facilitating a four week series on the Prophet Jeremiah and the role of prophets in our world today.
Sister Barbara explains, “Biblical prophets had two fundamental roles. They were truth tellers, calling people to wake up to their responsibilities, to whom they were called to be. They were also people who offered hope in times of great conflict and disillusionment.”
In this OFC series, Sister Barbara will use the Prophet Jeremiah as an example to encourage participants to look anew at the dual role of a prophet.
Sister Barbara explains, “Exploring the nature of the critical time in which Jeremiah lived invites us to face the questions and express the honest prayers that might come from our own experiences of loss. One cannot read Jeremiah without also being mindful of the violence, loss and suffering that surround us on a global level.”
Topics for each week include:
February 21st: The role of a prophet: the difficulty of being open to the prophetic message.
February 27th: Jeremiah: a prophet in a time of crisis.
March 7th: Jeremiah: a prophet who gives expression to the shock and grief that accompany great loss.
March 14th: Jeremiah: a prophet who expresses hope in the midst of crisis.
When we begin to understand ‘being a prophet’ in terms of being truth tellers and advocates for social responsibility, it can help us to identify our own unique opportunities for prophetic living – particularly when it comes to addressing issues in local healthcare, education, community development, and simply being a good neighbor.
Individuals of all faiths and professions are invited to attend this series. Community & business leaders are encouraged to participate! For additional information, please contact Angela Nevitt Roesler at firstname.lastname@example.org, 513-543-5368, or visit the OFC website: http://www.oldenburgfranciscancenter.org. RSVPs may be directed to Annette at email@example.com or 812-933-6437.