The book of Ezekiel is bursting with visions, signs, and prophecies. It is also permeated with literary techniques, devices, and genres, such as allegory, metaphor, parable, riddle, and lament. Ezekiel was told directly by God that he was to be a sign to Israel. He was to be a beacon, a signal, an omen…he was to be conspicuous as God’s messenger delivering God’s message. He was to live out, act, and even dramatize the message to the people. In doing this, he would instigate inquiry and provoke questioning.

These signs or actions that God prompted Ezekiel to do included binding himself with ropes, lying on his right side then his left for hours a day for a whole year, eating food cooked in an unclean manner, shaving his head and beard, eating and drinking while trembling and quaking, brandishing a sharp sword, and being mute for a period of time. He was also not to mourn over the death of his beloved wife. All of these actions were messages to a hardened and rebellious people.

Since our culture is marked by the sensational, the viral, and the next big thing, it is important for us to be conspicuous in the living out of our lives by the “normal” means of grace; the Word of God, the sacraments, and prayer. Let us show Christ as Lord as a manner of life, displaying integrity in our families, in our neighborhoods, in the marketplace, and beyond. Let us be generous, winsome, and hospitable. And let us be compassionate, especially to the marginalized. This will surely attract attention.

Suggested reading…   Ordinary: Sustainable Faith in a Radical, Restless World by Michael Horton