The sun was peeking over Long’s Peak and spraying its resplendent rays along the western slope of the Devil’s Backbone. I had spent the sweltering summer day hiking with my children through Lory State Park. Upon the completion of our hike, we pensively watched teenagers jump from the red cliffs into the refreshing water of Horsetooth Reservoir while we waded along the shoreline. Even though all three of us wanted to join the teenagers and plunge into the cool waters, we abdicated the idea, jumped into my Chevy Metro, turned on the air conditioner, and drove home. It had been a great day.
As we rounded the curve, just past Masonville, “My Best Friend’s Girl” by the Cars started to resound over the airways of my Metro’s state-of-the-art stereo system. I turned it up and began to “jam out.” My children watched with mortified looks. I, however, knew that—deep down—they were impressed with my Napoleon Dynamite skills. Upon the song’s conclusion, I turned down the volume and my daughter simultaneously asked, “So…is that song about a guy who used to date his best friend’s girlfriend?”
“It sure is!” I answered.
“Did you ever date your best friend’s girlfriend, Dad?”
Taking over, my son answered her saying, “It’s just a song. Dad’s only had a couple girlfriends. Shoot. He doesn’t even have a BEST FRIEND!”
BAM! DOUBLE BURN! …and from my own son!
My son’s burn was true…and I have only myself to blame. I named him after the Old Testament prophet, Micah. The role of the prophet—then and now–is two-fold. The prophet’s inspired by God’s Spirit to analyze his culture’s contemporary situation and “state the obvious.” In addition to cultural analysis, the prophet also provided his society with a futuristic perspective of either judgment, hope, or a combination of the two. My son—named after a prophet—analyzed his father’s current state of affairs. It can be debated as to whether his analysis was of divine origin, or whether it was just THAT obvious. Unfortunately, my son didn’t provide me with gifts of clairvoyance. He didn’t impart any resemblance of hope for a future girlfriend…or SHOOT….even a future best friend. My son is halfway to becoming a true prophet and fulfilling the prophecy of his given name.
It’s December 1st. For the next 24 days, as we sojourn through the Advent season, we’ll reflect upon the prophets of old and their divinely inspired assessment of their contemporary cultures, as well as their futuristic insights of Messianic hope, peace, joy, love, and reconciliation, which was—and continues to be—fulfilled in our Immanuel, the Prince of Peace.
“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan— The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the LORD Almighty will accomplish this.”
—Isaiah 9:1-2, 6-7