Saturday, January 15, 2005

Prophecy Word Sacrament

In Israel the prophet, the speaker of the Divine Word of Life, had ultimate authority and primacy; in the New Israel, the church, the prophet, the Divine Word-speaker, also has primal authority; both in those former days and in these latter days the just and righteous Word is manifest and apparent not only in audible, vocal speech, but the Word is hidden in the Spirit-filled people of God and the Word is paradoxically visible in the sacramental ordinances of baptism and holy communion.

In The Prophetic Faith, Jewish theologian Martin Buber writes,
"[for Jeremiah] Not the priest but the prophet he regards as the mediator between heaven and earth, messenger of God and intercessor in one. The contact between godhead and manhood in his view is not bound up with the rite but with the word...the word comes again and again from heaven as something new, and makes its abode within man...and the man who has to make it heard is over and over again subdued by the word before He lets it be put in his mouth. This is not the expression of a familiar deity, with whom man comes into regular contact in fixed places and at fixed times. He, Who speaks, is incomprehensible, irregular, surprising, overwhelming, sovereign. Therefore it is the virtue of this word, and of this alone, to lead, that is to say, to show the way. [emphasis mine] ...In order to speak to man, God must become a person; but in order to speak to him, He must make him too a person." (pages 164-165)
Jeremiah's New Covenant proclamation:

Jeremiah 31

31 "The time is coming," declares the LORD,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the house of Israel
and with the house of Judah.
32 It will not be like the covenant
I made with their forefathers
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,"
declares the LORD.
33 "This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel
after that time," declares the LORD.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts.
I will be their God,
and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbor,
or a man his brother, saying, 'Know the LORD,'
because they will all know me,
from the least of them to the greatest,"
declares the LORD.
"For I will forgive their wickedness
and will remember their sins no more."

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