Friday, 18 February 2011

Who's on Your Street of Prophets?

Well I couldn't resist photographing this gorgeous ceramic street plaque in Jerusalem, and I was thinking today - who lives on the street of prophets? I was also wondering who you would nominate for your street of prophets.. Don't worry we aren't going to be eliminating anybody if they don't play Amusing Party Games to our Satisfaction on Live TV. I was just thinking it might be good to meditate on what a prophetic person today would be doing, seeing, earning, giving, investing, creating.. and what DOES prophetic really mean?

Off the top of my head, I'd say it meant speaking the truth, expressing the truthfulness of being, being at the cusp of events in order to penetrate them to new depths for the purpose of enlightening others and awakening society, being an embodiment of such insights, being a beacon to lead others into greater truthfulness and freedom.

A prophet is someone who leaves you with the feeling of having seen something with God's eyes, glimpsed newly. I think traditionally, a prophetic life involves hearing from God in such a way as to receive an imperative command to communicate whatever message God wants conveyed, using the means He inspires. Check out how many different forms of 'art' Ezekiel uses! I counted them once..

So here's my question, what are the prophetic people and artworks that are influencing you now?

I'll mention a few of my favourites to get it rolling..seen as we are in the season of BAFTAs and BRIT awards:

Most prophetic person I've met and been inspired by would be Jean Vanier, founder of L'Arche. And he ties with John Paul II whom I was in a small audience with 3 times. Definitely a life-defining encounters.

Most prophetic novel that keeps coming back to inspire me, Middlemarch. If life is every tiring me, I read the last 3 chapters.

Most prophetic film, you are going to laugh, but the first one that comes to mind was one I saw when I was a child, and as I never read the Bible and didn't go to church then, I was STUNNED by Cecille B de Mille's 'The Ten Commandments'. I will never forget my horror at the moment when Moses came down the mountain and discovers the people worshipping the Golden Calf. An overwhelming scene that had me transfixed, years before I ever went to Church or knew what people did there.

So there's a few! Looking forward to hearing more of those personal Icons on Revelation..

Please inspire us!


  1. My prophetic people (other than Christ):
    St Francis, St Thomas Aquinas, Karol Wojtyla

    Prophetic music: Jazz trumpet of Tomasz Stanko, sax of John Coltrane

    Prophetic films: Soylent Green, Matrix, Logan's Run

    Prophetic Piotr

  2. The most prophetic people to me?

    G.K. Chesterton (though I've so far only ever read him second-hand!);
    CS Lewis - his apologetics show just how long and deep the Age of Rebellion has run;
    St Thomas Aquinas, whose philosophy has still not been improved on, only built on;
    Blessed Theresa of Calcutta, who shone the light of Christ's love in a region and religion that insisted on the unworthiness of the poor.

    And of course moments of prophetic lightning from JRR Tolkien (LoTR), Popes Paul VI and John Paul II (Huanae Vitae, Letter to Artists) and Ludwig Beethoven.

  3. Prophets and prophetic art-works - so many and memory is my least favourite brain function!...

    JP II - the first to my mind to integrate contemporary experience with the truths of faith through art.

    George Elliot's Middlemarch :) and Daniel Deronda

    Tango by Slawomir Mrozek.

    CS Lewis' Space Trilogy.

    Anslem Kiefer's searching works.

    Jm Coetzee's meditation on the passions and principles that animate existence "Eleanor Costelloe".

    My absolutely favourite novel and now near-perfect film of all time : Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro.

    Florence and the Machine's rendition of "You've got the Love".

    Different prophets speak to different souls - we can all be the voice someone needs to hear, for there is comfort as well as challenge in the truth.

    Is anything beautiful, true, affecting - prophetic?

    - K .

  4. Thanks for taking the time to make these recommendations. Lots of new discoveries here for me, and I guess for others too. So glad to hear that the Ishiguro, that was such a stunning novel, has made a fabulous film. Must see!

    Am musing on your question about the use of the word prophetic. There is of course a danger of it being over-used and then worn through.. I suppose there's the truthtelling and soulful end of the continuum and then at the other end there's the 'voice of God representative standing out against a nation in rebellion - spoken at the risk of life and limb'. Maybe a long continuum.