Prophet Potpourri

Posted: October 18, 2019 by Ty in Spirituality
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A cynical writer-pastor would call Zechariah the coat tail or bandwagon prophet. Within 2 months of Haggai’s success (and one month overlapping) he is doing his thing. He is speaking to a people on a roll, but even when things are going well, people become disgruntled, we look back to what was with longing regardless of how bad it actually was. This is seen in addictions, domestic violence, populist political movements, was even part of the story of the people of Israel fleeing Exodus these former slaves looked back on Egypt with longing. As Pastor Dave Sarsons, at Vulcan Church of Christ asked one Sunday morning, “what is your Egypt?”

That is what are we looking back for, misremmebering in longing that is holding us back from moving forward.

This is where Zechariah is, with the slow rebuild, as he creates the image of the re-established Temple. Yet Zechariah is like the Paul of the Hebrew Scriptures. The whole 14 chapters is not by his hand. Rather Chapters 1-8 are Zechariah, while the remaining chapters are his disciples and followers keeping up the work. For the more academic, themes from major prophets (because their books are so long) are “borrowed” or built upon, these prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

What has been lost within pop culture with our reboots, and within society, is the concept of Legacy. That is what Zechariah lends itself to. With the second half building on the first, and then the Gospel writers, ala Matthew, building upon that. It is like the Pre-New52 DC Universe Flash Family, or Doctor Who. One used to be able to say Star Trek, then Kelvin happened.

But, off the rabbit trail, the bridging thoughts are this:

Thus says the Lord: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.

-Zechariah 8:3-5 (English Standard Version)

It is unique the image that is thrown down to keep the momentum is one of what the people deserve- peace, security, happiness– the things that can trigger a relapse in individuals out of either fear of failure, or more aptly, fear of success or contentment. Is it possible that the momentum was slowing after Haggai, simply because the people had no grounding in what it meant to actually live and thrive, after years and generations of being objects and in survival mode? Zechariah, and his followers had to exorcise a communal trauma from the people and heal a shared complex PTSD.

The disciples of Zechariah, show what happens, what is this they had once been yearning for. The non-romanticized past. Anyone who studies history currently knows a black and white lens for historical reflection and learning is a failed lens. To understand and convert historic knowledge to current wisdom, one must get the full scope story– warts, atrocities and all…this is what the disciples were doing in 11:13:

13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the lordly price at which I was priced by them. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord, to the potter.

Potter, also translated as treasury.  See the 30 shekels (silver) is the price for a slave. It was also used within the Gospel of Matthew for the sell-out price of Jesus from Judas. An allusion was built upon this concept from Zechariah, when the religious oppressors use it to buy a burial ground for the outcast called potter’s field.

See, what is being said? The disciples are reminding the people that they are blessed, they Belong.

It is time to turn away from “Egypt” or “Babylon” or “Yesteryear” it is time to come HOME.

Zechariah is the continuing encouragement of a people re-settling, and as the onion of trauma is peeled, each past that they wanted back, was challenged and shown to be false. They were, as a people, rebuilt to the holy-sacred beings and community they are:

20 And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader[a] in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.

-Zechariah 14:20-21 (ESV)

It closes with a strong reminder– everything is sacred, for everything is within God, and God is within everything.

Time to move forward.

Time to belong.

Time to be home.


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