The Room Is On Fire


It's both amusing and horrifying to read about the machinations of our national politicians in our current cultural climate. 

The recent brouhaha over all of the classified documents that ex-presidents and vice presidents somehow carried home after their terms in office is a perfect example of how our nation's government has become a theater of the absurd. 

From what I can gather, if the person you voted for did something wrong, it's okay.  In that case, they just made an honest mistake. 

But it isn't okay if the person you didn't vote for did something wrong. In that case, they are an evil person bent on betraying their country to the highest bidder. 

On the one hand, it's a "witch hunt" if the authorities go after your guy, but it's "seeking justice" if they go after the other guy. 

Meanwhile, only a few of our politicians seem interested in addressing the issues that matter to their constituents' well-being.  They just keep pandering to extremes, and there are plenty of those kinds of folks to keep them busy pandering. 

The reason why I dip my toe into political stuff from time to time in these Devos is that not only do I find politics interesting, but it also affects all of us.  

Besides, there are great spiritual lessons to be learned by reflecting on the nature of politics in our country, and God knows we need to learn to make those kinds of connections. 

For example, sometimes, we must be willing to speak the truth about what is wrong in our world.  

And I'm not talking about the petty gripes we have about the false flag issues that dominate cable news--the ones our politicians are fond of pontificating about so they can appear on said cable news.  

I'm talking about the real issues that keep us divided, angry, distrustful, fearful, and broken. 

That children are starving in arguably the wealthiest country in the world. Or that people of color are still experiencing hatred, bigotry, and violence because of the color of their skin. We "ho-hum" mass shootings but get triggered about the price of eggs or a shortage of carrots. 

We say that access to mental health care is something everyone should have the right to, but we balk when it costs us to take action needed to make it a reality. 

The list goes on and on, doesn't it?  And this is an equal opportunity, a non-partisan moment of reflection because it lands on all of us regardless of our political party affiliation or beliefs about God. 

Russell Moore, the former editor of Christianity Today and the former head of the Office of Social Witness in the Southern Baptist Convention, recently wrote this: 

Sometimes the grownup in the room is the only one who can point out that the room is on fire. 

Jesus had a way of pointing these things out to the people who listened to him preach and teach.  

He had no problem calling out his day's religious and political leaders for how they abandoned their calling and cared more about their own power than the welfare of the people they supposedly served. 

He pointed to a new reality--God's reality--that was beyond partisanship and the lust for power and decried the way the leaders of his day opted for oppression rather than compassion to get what they wanted. 

It's not easy to be that person by any stretch of the imagination.  After all, it got Jesus killed.  The good news is, he didn't stay dead.  Because no amount of evil can keep the truth under wraps or the purposes of God at bay.  

As followers of Christ, we have a sacred duty to speak the truth about what is wrong in our world and to pursue justice and mercy for all, no matter what it costs.  We are called to say that room is on fire, even when no one around us will admit it. 

We are called to love the world and give ourselves for it, just as Jesus did.  

May we live into this calling and become peacemakers, prophets, and poets for a new age of hope, peace, and joy.  May we show love, speak the truth, and do justice.  May this be so for you and for me, and for everyone.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen. 

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