Order is where the prophetic process begins, because just as there was original righteousness before there was original sin, so also there was Torah (Law) before it deteriorated into torah (legalism). There was a time when (as with creation) the Law was ‘good.’ Reality is where prophets begin.
That time was when the Law was the revelation of God’s steadfast love and the indication of how we love God, others, and ourselves in response to grace. But just as Adam and Eve gave way to egotism and made themselves their own gods, so too people emptied the Law of God, putting themselves as its mediators. Eden was lost to pride, and so also was the Law.
The prophets entered the picture when Torah had become torah–when Eden had become empire. They began the restorative process by reminding the people of God and God’s will. You cannot go home if you don’t know where home is. And so, they said, “Remember.”
Still today, we minister prophetically by “cleaning the lens” (a term Richard Rohr uses) so that we can see what life is supposed to look like–the life, as noted by Brueggemann, that was/is couched in the love of God and neighbor.
Going Deeper in Brueggemann
‘The Prophetic Imagination’
‘Reality, Grief, and Hope’
‘God, Neighbor, Empire’
‘Spirituality of the Psalms’