This entry was first published in the Gallup Independent's "Spiritual Perspectives"
on September 22/2018
When I was a child I was attracted to stories about God speaking to humans. There was Moses at the burning bush, Mary visited by an angel, the boy Samuel hearing God in the middle of the night. There were the prophets whose tales begin, "The word of the Lord came to me" at such and such a time, in such and such a place. I wanted God to speak to me, and I asked my father about it. He said God didn't need to speak to us today, because the Bible told us everything God wanted us to know. I thought because the Bible says God never changes, God should still want to talk to us directly.
I do think the Holy One still speaks to us, but maybe it's not as dramatic as from a burning bush or through an angel. Since the days when my father and I talked about it, I've wondered if sometimes when "the word of the Lord" came to those prophets, maybe it wasn't that different from how God speaks to us today.
Take, for example, this story about the prophet Jeremiah. He wrote, "The Lord told me, 'Jeremiah, go to the pottery shop, and when you get there, I will tell you what to say to the people.' I went there and saw the potter making clay pots on his pottery wheel. And whenever the clay would not take the shape he wanted, he would change his mind and form it into some other shape.Then theLord told me to say:'People of Israel, I, the Lord, have power over you, just as a potter has power over clay. If I threaten to uproot and shatter an evil nation, and that nation turns from its evil, I will change my mind.If I promise to make a nation strong, but its people start disobeying me and doing evil, then I will change my mind and not help them at all.'"
As a child, I must have thought God said all this to Jeremiah in a big, booming voice. But what if Read More