You are on page 1of 3

Title: Prophetic Energizing and the Emergence of Amazement, by Walter

Brueggemann
Notes
Recall that the Prophetic consciousness is built from there things:
a. Affluence
b. Oppression
c. Immanent religion

Prophetic Task

Criticizing, eg. Jeremiah, grief over death


Energizing, eg.
o Energizing: To move people from grief and despair towards hope
in Gods work of newness in the world. To energize is to move
people to engage the promise of newness that is at work in our
history with God.
Problems of the Royal Consciousness
The Royal Consciousness militates against and stifles hope. The
present ordering claims to be full and final order; claims that
nothing exists beyond the status quo.
The royal consciousness looks for no new beginnings. The royal
consciousness can imagine new beginnings because they cannot
imagine endings. Also the royal consciousness is busy, trying to
manage and control, thus clouding out the perception of new
possibilities. This produces a grim situationone of a
dissatisfied coping, a grudging trust, and a managing that dares
never ask too much (63).
The Prophets Energizing Tasks

Offering Symbolssymbols that contradict situations of


hopelessness and unthinkable newness. They way to do this is to 1)
dig deep into to finding symbols in the memory of the community
that contradict the regnant consciousness and to educate the masses
to re-use these tools, and 2) to recognize that words, speech,
language, and phrase shape consciousness and reality significantly.

To bring to public expression the very hopes and yearnings


that have been denied so long and suppressed so deeply that we
no longer know they are there.

o The Nature of Hope


Hope is an absurdity, embarrassing.
Hope is a threat, subversive.
Hope is primarily theological, between a personal God and
a community. It has nothing to do with making scientific or
philosophical arguments.
Hope is what Christians are called to. But also, hope is
based on the sovereign faithfulness of God. Hope
distinguishes us from the royal consciousness.
The prophet must be a participant of grief to fully articulate
the intensity of hope.

To speak metaphorically about hope but concretely about the


real newness that comes us and redefines our situation. The
prophet must not only be able to speak about the newness that is
still on its way to consummation but must also be able to articulate
the newness that redefines the people in the present.

The Prophetic Language of Amazement: The Language of amazement is


the most energizing language that the prophets can utilize.

DoxologyThe language of amazement that puts God right in the


center of our crisis and despair; language that puts God in the place
where we thought he had fled.
For example, Second Isaiah (Isaiah 40-55).
Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.
Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her
that here warfare is ender.
That her iniquity is pardoned. ( Isa. 40:1-2)

Second Isaiah: Second Isaiah energizes the people by recognizing Gods


faithful sovereignty and his freedom to act and bring change to history.
Second Isaiah contrasts gods who make the people weary and
hopeless with the true God who energizes and empowers
Second Isaiah also invokes images of inversion. They are:

1) New Song---a celebration of a new social reality


2) Birth to the Barren: Bareness can be treated metaphorically,
as a loss of future or hopelessness, but it can also refer to a
plethora of social difficulties. Thus, birth to the barren signifies
the opening of a future and the generation of an alternative
consciousness by the miraculous power of God.
Sing, O barren one, who did not bear:
bring forth into singing and cry aloud,
you who have not been in travail!
For the children of the desolate one will be more
than the children of her that is married, says the Lord. ( Isa
54:1)

Nourishment: A dismantling of the Babylonian bakery and


hallowing of Yahwehs bakery

.reshaped hardware will not overcome despair in any case. That will come only with
the recognition that life has not been fully consigned to us and that there is another who
has reserved for himself his sovereign freedom from us and for us. He is at work apart
from us and apart from Babylon (77).
Fatigue and Energizing

Fatigue (Despair and Numbness) is caused by a lack of decision or


a dependence on Babylon.
Strength and hope ultimately comes from God; it is given to us,
and we receive it. It coms by waiting rather than taking matters
into our won hands. It is in receiving and not grasping, in
inheriting and not possessing, in praising and not seizing (78). In
other words our faith in God should be always rooted in the
faithfulness and freedom of God to bring change in the world.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,


and young men shall fall exhausted;
But they who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength,
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint. (Isa. 40:30-31)