Throughout the Old Testament, God reveals to people the gifts that he has given to them, and calls them to live out the purposes for which those gifts were given. Usually, these calls are given in fairly impressive terms.
God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet, telling him that “before you were born, I dedicated you a prophet to the nations.” Samuel declares David as God’s choice for king, saying “The Lord has chosen a man after his own heart.”
Next to stuff like this, God’s call to Ezekiel (in Sunday’s Old Testament reading) can sound a little off at first blush - “You, I have appointed watchman for the house of Israel.” Not a prophet, a king, or a man after God’s own heart, but a watchman, a security guard. Congratulations, you get to be God’s own mall cop?
Not exactly. In Ezekiel’s day, towns were protected by walls and towers. The job of the watchman was to be alert for the signs of danger, to spot trouble at a distance, and to warn the town in time for the gates to be closed and for the people to repel the invaders.
More on what this really means tomorrow.
Sunday's Readings: http://www.usccb.org/bible/readings/090714.cfm