Have you ever argued with God and felt bad about it? If so, you really need to make sure you’re reading Malachi. As for myself, there are certain moments in which I feel angry at God about current life circumstances. Look, I know things could be (and sometimes have been) a lot worse. And yet! And yet I still sometimes feel angry about things, sometimes angry at God. I say I don’t believe that God plans all of our life down to the very smallest detail, and yet my tendency is to blame God when things don’t go how I’d have them go. There are all sorts of theological arguments about “why bad things happen to good people” and the role God plays in our life events – so go read up on those if you want to explore why, but if you want to experience a biblical example of back-and-forth argument with God, just read Malachi.
As the New Interpreter’s Study Bible Intro to Malachi reminds us, “Malachi’s style is argumentative. Often in rapid-fire dialogue, God and people accuse one another of neglect and disregard of their mutual covenant obligations. The people’s driving question, ‘Where is the God of justice?’ (3:17), is answered in 3:1 by the promise of a coming messenger.”
Do you think it’s right to argue with God? Why or why not?
How is your visio divina practice going? What are the similarities and differences you notice between praying this way and doing lectio divina?
This week we’re in Chapter 15, “More Career Advice” of The Lifelong Activist. Rettig encourages us to not worry about if we can’t or won’t be a full-time activist – that “there is no one right way to be an activist, and anyone who tries to tell you there is, or who calls you a sell-out, is not only wrong, but probably speaking out of their own confusion, conflict, and unhappiness.”
In what way are you an activist in the world? How much time can you reasonably devote to activism, given your current life circumstances?
Check out the Find Your FBCO Map to find your local faith-based community organizing affiliate and connect with the people who are working together to live out their dreams of a more just world! What’s going on in your living of the Gospel? Let us know in the comments, in our e-mail discussion group, or on social media.
- Brueggemann, Walter. “The Minor Prophets (1)” in An Introduction to the Old Testament: The Canon and Christian Imagination. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 2003.
- Harrelson, Walter J., ed. The New Interpreter’s Study Bible: New Revised Standard Version with the Apocrypha. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2003.
- Luther Seminary. “Enter the Bible,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/.
- Nysse, Richard W. “Enter the Bible: Daniel,” n.d. http://www.enterthebible.org/oldtestament.aspx?rid=47
- Rettig, Hillary. The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006.
- Rettig, Hillary. “More Career Advice” in The Lifelong Activist: How to Change the World Without Losing Your Way. New York, NY: Lantern Books, 2006. http://lifelongactivist.com/part-i-managing-your-mission/more-career-advice/
- Rice Achtemeier, Elizabeth. Nahum–Malachi. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1986.
- Schaper, Donna, ed. 40-Day Journey with Howard Thurman. 40-Day Journey. Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Books, 2009. https://openlibrary.org/books/OL23575518M/40-day_journey_with_Howard_Thurman.
- “Visio Divina.” The Upper Room, n.d. https://www.upperroom.org/resources/visio-divina.
- West, Cornel and Supernegromagic. Justice Is What Love Looks Like in Public [Sermon]. Washington, DC: Howard University, 2011. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGqP7S_WO6o&feature=youtu.be&t=21s.