Dear Friends and Members of Ark and Dove,
The words of prophets sting. See these words from Isaiah 32:
For fools speak folly,
and their minds plot iniquity:
to practice ungodliness,
to utter error concerning the Lord,
to leave the craving of the hungry unsatisfied,
and to deprive the thirsty of drink.
The villainies of villains are evil;
they devise wicked devices
to ruin the poor with lying words,
even when the plea of the needy is right.
They sting, and yet we have to bear them. Foolishness, ungodliness, deception, injustice abound--even under the name of God. Prophets point out such hypocrisy and point at us, who are guilty of the same.
This morning, I listened to words that echo Isaiah. Not from a pastor or professor, but from the ska-punk veterans Five Iron Frenzy. They released their first album in seven years and Reese Roper spits this on the second verse of the opening track:
To all the hungry
You locked the doors
You sunk the thirsty
Before their boats make the shores
To every stranger
You closed the gates
Your new gospel:
Black with hate
You sold them out
Saying "Anything for sponsorships" -
A self-imposed, Orwellian, apocalypse
Your new god
He loves blind conformity
So pledge allegiance
And wave your flags in uniformity
The lyrics were written well before the riots at the Capitol last week, but they sound like they were written right after. Here we have to hear of the hypocrisy that endures in much of American Christianity: the gospel (lit. good news) proclaimed as bad news to the hungry, thirsty, stranger, and dispossessed.
While these words aim at a certain segment of American Christianity, we must remember what Pastor Tim reminded us last Sunday: as soon as we point the finger, we take on the responsibility of pointing out our own sin. We too spurn the hungry, thirsty, and stranger.
Let us listen to the prophets, ancient and modern, as much as they might offend. May we profess good news for all in our bodies and speech.