Monday, 13 February 2017

Message & Medium - Sunday 12th February 2017

To be a prophet - in any age - it is not enough to have a God-given message, you also need an effective medium - a means of getting that message across. Isaiah - the greatest of the Old Testament prophets - was a songwriter. When he first grasped God’s message, the events he was called to announce were still 155 years away from happening. During those 155 years his message was not remembered because it was right. In fact it was very unpopular. Isaiah's message survived because people remembered his songs.
We don't know what Isaiah’s music was like; we only have his lyrics. Those lyrics are exquisite. Isaiah was a world-class poet. Because his songs were so beautiful, his message lodged in the minds of ancient Jews until the day came when everything he had sung about finally happened. After that, a succession of admirers followed the great man’s example, expressing the mind of God in beautiful poetry and song. 700 years after Isaiah died, his poetry and insight was still catching hearts and minds, and found a new fan in Jesus.
Jesus quoted Isaiah more than any other prophet, and consciously modelled key parts of his ministry on insights from the great poet/songwriter. But Jesus was no poet. There is no record of him singing, nor did he compose any poetry. Nonetheless, Jesus understood that God’s message requires a robust medium if it is to catch in people’s minds and stay there. So he became a story teller. Whereas Isaiah engaged people’s hearts and minds with music, Jesus made up stories. And those stories are still told across the world today.
We are all called to be prophets - to share our insight into the ways of God with others. But it is not enough to want to tell people about God, we need to find a way of doing so that will capture their attention and open their hearts.

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