Meet Ezekiel, his sword is the best a man can get…
And you, O mortal, take a sharp sword; use it as a barber’s razor and run it over your head and beard; then take balances for weighing, and divide the hair.
Today Mark Nicholas steps in front of the shaving mirror and sees Ezekiel staring back. Ezekiel famously shaved himself… with a sword. Not a Wilkinson’s Sword - an actual sword! The prophets in the Bible often did bizarre things that made them more like avant guard performance artists than conventional preachers. In a culture where most people couldn’t read and write - strong visual messages were often important - and to a people who valued priests with hair - shaving it off was a metaphor for a shameful reckoning - being cut down to size. You wouldn’t forget the dude that stood outside Holyrood shaving himself with a claymore would you? That would go viral pretty quick…
What courage Ezekiel had, to embody your view, display your thought to Israel, his beard in three piles.
His baldness reminds me of the vulnerability I can feel when I stand out in your name. And yet God’s cry to his people that the blessing he had given them yielded a nation that was worse than its neighbours.
May we be unlike the rest of the nations. In, but not of, the world.
Father, when I hear your living Word and don’t respond and don’t allow you to work its reality in me by your Spirit, forgive me.
Yet the sword you have put in my hand is no good for shaving, it is for wielding. May your word in my mouth be a sword to make your love real to the people you have placed in the path you have given me.
And may my witness to you encourage others to leave the lifeless gods of metal and plastic and the mortal gods of self, that they may they find their all in you, even as I do.