After a dazzling vision of God arrives last chapter God speaks and appoints Ezekiel to be a prophet.
At the end of the chapter, God will give Ezekiel his sermon, his message. A scroll of lament, mourning and woe. Not an easy script.
It’s instructive how he prepares Ezekiel for this awkward message. In contrast with the burning splendor of the vision, there is a big dose of pragmatism and expectation management.
First preparation is to fill him with the holy spirit.
I’m actually running prayers at work today, it’s a half hour session each Thursday. I remember St Paul wrote of preachers with bad motives that, well, at least the gospel was peached. So the preacher doesn’t have to be perfect, not at all. But what a great starting point to be asked to be filled with the spirit.
Then God tells him to expect the people to be stubborn and not listen; and to carry on regardless. It is enough that they will know a prophet has been among them… Low expectations.
How lame is your church sometimes? Well, sometimes it’s enough that it just there.
He tells him he’ll be surrounded by thorns, briars and scorpions, not to be afraid. Expect fear, tune out to it. Keep listening to God, more than the rising panic.
Then God hands him his poison pill message.
God understands what he is asking of us. Not many are called to be Ezekiel, but it’s on the cards. And that’s why we have the spirit.
I pray that prayers go well, fill me with the spirit.