Like many in the global community since the inauguration of Donald Trump to the presidency, I’m fearful, angry and deeply offended by words and actions that threaten the principles upon which our country was founded: justice, freedom, truth-telling, inclusion and equality for all. But I’m also confident that the Holy One does not abandon us, but is calling us to examine how, as transformational faith leaders, we are called to serve and lead those in our care.
As I consider my own response, I find both comfort and challenge in the counsel of the prophets. While distinct in words and ways, all share the dual themes of call and response for the present times and a vision of a transformed future.
Habakkuk sounds the call: stand at the watch post; listen for God’s voice and keep faith until the appointed time of salvation. Micah reminds us: do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God. Isaiah exhorts us: offer radical hospitality to the stranger, share bread with the oppressed, shelter the homeless. Jesus offers courage and blessing: hope, pray always and don’t lose heart.
Each of them holds up a vision for a new creation based on radical transformation that fulfills the promise. Isaiah prophesies: a Light will rise in the darkness, removing despair and sorrow. Habakkuk reminds us: hold fast to a vision to be fulfilled in the fullness of time. Micah foresees a time when nations beat their swords into plowshares, their spears into pruning hooks, all living in peace and amity. Jesus proclaims the advent of God’s reign of peace and justice and embodies it in his ministry of presence, power and compassion.
During this year’s Transformational Leadership Institute, we’ll explore how we are called by God to lead, using three themes for our operative learning framework: