Your Sons and Your Daughters Shall Prophesy!
“No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” – Acts 2:16-17
On that first Pentecost the crowd thought the disciples were drunk, but they weren’t drunk, they were “inspired.” The Spirit of God who moved over the face of the waters in the beginning, and who called forth the church on Pentecost, is still blowing “wild and free” in our time, both inside and outside the church.
The part of the prophecy that caught my attention recently is the part that says, “your sons and your daughters shall prophesy.” Youngsters will be “inspired” to find their voices, to speak hard truths to those who have ears to listen.
So I listen for these young voices. The true prophet’s voice challenges the ancient ways, the entrenched systems of the powers that be, both formal and informal. The true prophet’s voice announces God’s new way. It declares: “It doesn’t have to be like this!”
I heard some true prophetic voices from the youngsters from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, when they spoke in Washington, DC on March 24. The month before they had witnessed the murder of 17 of their classmates. So they planned the “March for Our Lives” and reached out to other young victims of gun violence from around the country.
There were no grownups or politicians speaking that day. One after another these young people, of different races, backgrounds and identities, spoke clearly and passionately that things must change, that this epidemic of gun violence is no longer acceptable. I find their voices both inspired and inspiring.
Holy One, inspire us again! Give us ears to hear, and hearts to discern, the voices calling us to the Shalom you want for our world. Amen.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer and author, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.