1 Chronicles 25:1 put two words together that I had never thought about as a pair: prophecy and music. “the sons of Asaph . . . prophesied with lyres, with harps, and with cymbals.” Previously, the ministry of prophecy was self-contained and distinct from other forms of ministry. This verse challenged me to broaden my understanding of prophecy.
O – Observation
David is establishing the order for temple worship with a few base-line expectations. For instance, worship leaders must be skillful. This phrase (“prophesied with lyres”) means that musicians would also be evaluated on their effectiveness of helping people understand God’s message for today.
Prophecy, as a ministry thrust, challenges the listener with God’s word for today. Prophecy is not abstract, but concrete. In prophetic ministry, we hear how God’s presence, love and will impacts us today.
So prophetic music uses music to make God’s word concrete.
A – Application
This led me to think through how prophecy might be an essential element in all forms of ministry. All ministry should help people understand God’s message for today.
Preaching is not disseminating abstract truth; it is sharing God’s word for God’s people in God’s timing. Youth ministry proclaims God’s grace and truth to young in people in such a way that they know God is talking to them. Counseling allows hurting people to feel God’s presence and accept God’s healing.
My biggest challenge is considering my job – academic administration – as a prophetic task. Here is what I came up with: Academic administration connects staff to each other on the level of “here’s how we are fleshing out God’s mission today. This is today’s opportunity to put Jesus at the center of registration, recruiting, teaching, and preparing food.”
P – Prayer
God of the Universe:
You revealed yourself to us in the form of a baby so that we could see how all of God’s truth becomes concrete. Incarnate yourself in our actions today, we pray. May our jobs serve to make your presence, grace and will known to each other, our students, and the world. Thank you for the joy of making your truth evident in our world.
In Jesus’ name, Amen