I’ve been reading the Minor Prophets during my morning prayer time. I’ve been reading them, not with the intention of study but as an aid to prayer. That said I did find it interesting that the book of Joel is very difficult to date. The book can be assigned a date anywhere from 800 to 300 BCE. That is a five hundred year time span. That is a lot of time – maybe even long enough for it to be relevant today.
Joel, like most of the prophets, imagines a time when the people are in peril. A foreign nation, like a plague of locust, has invaded God’s land, and the land and its people are laid waste. Joel’s call to God’s people is for repentance and prayer. “Who knows,” the prophet says, “whether he will not turn and relent, and leave a blessing behind him.”
The point of the prophet’s words is, always, that God’s love for the people of God is everlasting and that in the end God will save the people. It is good to begin the day reminded of God’s love in the midst of what it takes to be a leader in the church. Clergy and laity alike work hard to be the people of God in their context and it is often challenging work. I would invite you be people of prayer and to remember the prophets who call us to know and to love the Lord. In the words of Joel, “I am sending you grain, wine, and oil, and you will be satisfied.”
Blessings on the journey,