May 5, 2018 Common Good

Nourishing an Alternative

The task of prophetic ministry is to nurture, nourish, and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture around us…. Prophetic ministry has to do not primarily with addressing specific public crises but with addressing, in season and out of season, the dominant crisis that is enduring and resilient, of having our alternative vocation co-opted and domesticated.[1]

The work of prophetic imagination is not simply raging against the machine. It is noticing, and wakening those lives trapped within the mechanism of the dominant culture of scarcity, violence, and control. Think of the prompts you are given every day in news, social media, and smart-phones. Think of where your reactive energy is then expanded.  What if, instead, you chose to take that experience of frustration and focus it toward bringing out your voice and the voice of others?

Think through your week. Those you do business with. Those who help raise your children. Those who create beauty in your life. How can you share their work and good will? How can use the example of those living alternatively to “nourish, nurture, and evoke” even more of the same?

Start with a phone call today, thanking someone for the way they model a culture of abundance and neighborliness. Then, for extra credit, consider sharing this person’s story with someone else you know— through a conversation, an email introduction, or a social media post.


[1]Brueggemann, Walter. Prophetic Imagination: Revised Edition (p. 3). Fortress Press. Kindle Edition.

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