The Book of Obadiah: “From Victim to New Vocation”
Readings: Obadiah 1-3, 10-15, 19-21 and Mark 4:3-20
Our Old Testament prophet this week is Obadiah. His message spans just twenty-one verses. Read the book in its entirety to get the full flavor of this servant of Yahweh (meaning of his name!).
- As you read the prophetic message of Obadiah, consider the title of this week’s reflection: from victim to new vocation. Edom bullied Israel out of deeply rooted pride. What comes to mind as you consider God’s words about pride, about the end of those who victimize others for personal gain or power? Have you ever experienced some sort of victimization from someone? What was the like? How did you feel? Did you find yourself wanting to seek revenge in unhealthy or destructive ways? What happened? Where did you find help or healing? Maybe you feel like a victim now. What saves you?
- God seems to offer another way for Israel but it takes the long view (v.21). What might it look like for you to take the wounds, injuries, suffering you’ve received from others and invite God into your pain so that you might experience a deeper transformative work of healing? What might you imagine God would like to do for you or with your wounds? In the end, what did God do with Jesus’ wounds? As you consider these things, you may want to prayerfully read: 2 Cor.4:17-18 or Romans 8. Might your wounds be an invitation into a new vocation, even as Jesus invites others to touch his wounds to experience redemptive love? How has past woundedness become a sacred witness to others of God’s rescue and healing?
- If you have some time, slowly read and reflect on Obadiah 10-15, God’s corrective to prideful Edom. Ask yourself, where do I find pride cropping up in me? How has or is pride manifesting in my life or behaviors? Sit with 1 Cor.13:1-13. Love deposes pride by God’s Spirit. Talk to God about these things. What do you sense you needing most from God?
- How might you creatively engage others in your spheres of influence as an ambassador of the Kingdom of God (v.21)? You might want to experiment with our Ordinary Time spiritual discipline that emerges from Rom.12:1 and the description of God’s redeemed people in Titus 2:14, who are …Eager to do what is good…
Eat with someone
Listen to the Spirit
Learn from the Gospels
Reflect (journal) your experience
(Taken with gratitude from Surprise the World, by Michael Frost)