Charles Villa-Vicencio's topic for his morning talk last Wednesday was along the lines of 'Why do fired-up young prophets become tame parish priests?' He encouraged seminarians to let their 'claws grow sharp and their manes grow long'. He spoke about the roles of a minister (I'm not sure if he was specifically addressing ministers here) as being prophet, priest and political counsellor (or statesman). By including statesman he was meaning people who can draw together different people and encourage them to move on together - and given that this is something of the ultimate force of my PhD thesis, with Desmond Tutu as a model, I obviously concur.
However, having wrestled with the idea of prophecy and the complications of the cultural aspects (do the Old Testament and Black Consciouness define prophets in the same way?) I am now feeling that actually the country has enough prophets. There are so many voices - shouting, ranting, complaining and sometimes even being constructive that I don't believe we need more prophets. We need people who can and will listen. People with wisdom and discernment and people who will lead others into constructive action. Maybe this is what Villa-Vicencio meant by statesmen - but I think it goes further.
As far as the church is concerned - it needs to focus on being the people of God in a world that needs God and needs love and grace and hope and all those good Christian things. We need to teach our people that personal holiness and a Christ-centred lifestyle will lead to social justice. The three go hand in hand.
And that is my little prophetic rant for the day.