The Minor Prophets

Is he a minor or major prophet? Would we pay attention anyway?
Is he a minor or major prophet?
Would we pay attention anyway?
None of the minor prophets
knew that he was minor, of course. Habakkuk, I imagine,
   thought that his visions earned him
standing as Ezekiel’s peer, if not indeed Elijah’s.
   Then there was Obadiah,
who could be forgiven if he thought he might be a Moses.
   How they would be remembered
Providence concealed from them all, though they could see the future.
   Maybe it doesn’t matter.
If you’re on a mission from God, sent to rebuke a city
   or to redeem a nation,
where by cannon-makers you’re ranked may be inconsequential.
   Nor is the voice within you
any less authentic for not having a distant echo.
   Seers of the world, be heartened.
Even minor prophets can have genuine revelations.
Source:Parallel Lives, Michael Lind. Wilkes-Barre, PA: Etruscan Press, 2007 – found on the Education for Justice website.

4 Comments on “The Minor Prophets

  1. Study war no more? Not a good idea at all.
    It is actually important to study war to keep from accidentally falling into it…again and again.
    Knowing the when, where, and why of past wars helps us recognize and (hopefully) avert similar situations and misunderstandings.
    Many wise men and philosophers have warned that:
    “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” (~attributed to Carlos Santayana)
    “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” (~attributed to Karl Marx)
    “… the vintage of history is forever repeating ~ same old vines, same old wines!”
    ― E.A. Bucchianeri, Faust: My Soul Be Damned for the World Vol. 2
    “Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.” ~Author Unknown

    In life, we all make mistakes. The biggest mistake would be to forget what we have learned from past errors and go on to blindly make the same errors in the future. How can we go forward and “sin no more,’ if we don’t study (examine) where we went wrong and adjust our footsteps?

    • Thank you, Mary, for your thoughtful comment. I am sure that the words of the prophet Isaiah may seem a bit naive and wistful. Much like the lyrics of John Lennon’s song, “Imagine”. It can be very easy to dismiss these words as those of a dreamer. Interestingly, Carlos Santana also said, “…war is not the answer; only love can conquer hate.” 9

      So I think that what is meant by the phrase, “…study war no more…” is not to learn and understand the reasons, the issues, and the history behind war, but rather, let’s not study how to make war any more. Let’s study how to not make war by providing education for all – especially young women, by creating meaningful employment – so that young men don’t grow angry, and by treating all people everywhere with dignity.

      If we could do that, we would definitely not be repeating our mistakes anymore. Maybe the dream of Isaiah, John Lennon, Carlos Santana, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela could be come a reality.

      I appreciate the opportunity to share in dialog with you, Mary. 🙂 Pat

  2. Carolyn Myss asked, “Can you be happy if your greatest divine purpose is to be the calming affect in your neighborhood?” That we often miss the power of our impact on our world, because we don’t perceive the impact of that lone, small step in a thousand mile journey.

    • Hi Noelle.

      You are so right! To be a peaceful and calming presence is, indeed to make peace in our world. You and I don’t have the opportunity by ourselves to stop wars on in international scale. But we sell ourselves short by not realizing the impact that we have.

      Here’s to being minor prophets together and changing our world one moment at a time.

      Peace and all good, Pat

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