Prophets — Todd Jenkins

As those of us in the United States approach the national elections, we dust off and examine our call to be prophets … of course, it is a call for all of us, all of the time. Sometimes the hot breath of the Holy Spirit is breathing down our collars. Todd Jenkins poem “Prophets” reminds us. For more of Todd’s amazing poetry go here

The prophets of old
stand with and for
the widow, orphan, and sojourner,
just to name a few,
still speaking truth
to my power
and your power,

not because they had
psychic ability
to see into the future,

but because power’s
seduction and anesthesia
have been the same since Eden.

The gospel calls us
to not only accept
this truth about the ways
we have lived
with privilege unawares,
unquestioned, unexamined,

but also to speak
this societal truth ourselves,
not just in our worship,
but in the marketplace,
in the schoolhouse,
in the courthouse,
in the statehouse, and
in the neighborhoods.

It calls us to stand against
exploitation and oppression;
to live and breathe
justice and dignity
in ways that make them
a reality in the lives
of all our communities.

Let us not just be the
gathered religious community,
but let us also dare
to become the sent prophets.

© 2016 Todd Jenkins

photo Gay Jenkins Kalschmidt

photo Gay Jenkins Kalschmidt

Todd writes this, “My sister took that photo on a kayaking trip down a FL river near her house. The fact that a tree could remain standing with such structural/foundational flaws was both telling and hopeful to me, which is sort of the way the poem left me feeling after I began to comprehend its implications. That’s why I paired the two together.” 

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