Fiddle on fire
While growing up in the South, I saw and heard some fiddling that would so to speak ‘burn the house down’. It was that good. Sometimes you thought you could see smoke coming off the strings. Charlie Daniels was one of the best on Orange Blossom Special. Women got into it big time on the Grand Ole Opry.
History has it that the Roman Emperor was fiddling while Rome was burning. No one can prove that he fiddled during the fire or even started it. He is known to have played the lyre. It is true that a major portion of the city was destroyed by fire on July 18, 64 AD, burning for six days. He did eventually blame the Christians, a small group at that time, also arresting and executing some. He was the solemn authority.
As I have been reflecting on the events happening in major cities across our country, I was drawn to some similarities. Angry, organized protesting mobs are destroying private and public property, even burning buildings and autos. While portions of several cities are being burned, are we, the church, simply sitting in our homes and ‘fiddling’? Many churches are building grand cathedrals while our inner cities are rotting, physically, and spiritually. Nero blamed the Christians. I ask myself and you; who are you blaming for this unlawful destruction of property and lives? Must be the ‘other political party’s’ fault.
It’s not about the politics
But is this really political? I say no, I say it is a moral and spiritual breakdown of our families. The ‘church’ has the solution. His name is Jesus. But the way I see things, he is not being shared with a lost society. Jesus said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself” (Jn. 12.32). He was speaking of the manner in which he would die for the sins of the world. But it also begs the question, should we not still be lifting him up so that men, women, and children might be drawn to him today, for eternity.
Jesus went on to say to the crowd; “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtakes you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light” (vss. 35,36). We should avoid thinking this was just for that small band of people. It speaks clearly to us. I think you would agree that the majority, if not all, of those destroying our cities are walking in darkness. Jesus said from the cross; “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” I dare say that I don’t believe these protesters really know what they are doing.
Be the light
But, how about you and me? We are to be salt, light, and leaven. Are we taking his light into a growingly dark and lost society? Jesus was not mincing words when he said, “while you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” It says to me, there is a period in all our lives when we have the opportunity to believe, shine, and act. Sadly, it can pass. Are we simply going to rely on politicians to resolve the moral and spiritual decay in our country, or are we going to step forward and be the light, the light of Jesus?
The church, you and I, have been way too silent for way too long. Our voice is being shouted down by the culture and by voices of darkness. What if, one day when we face Jesus, he informs us that they really were crying out for truth, help, and light, and the only way they could express themselves, their frustration and anger, was to take it out on others in the streets and elsewhere. Wouldn’t that be sad? I’m talking to myself first. If you care to listen in, please do.
Nero was the sole authority and ruled in Rome; we the people in America have been given the authority in our nation under our Constitution. And we, as followers of Christ, serve the One with true authority, over everything. Let’s turn to him for wisdom, strength, and boldness. Lift him up while it is still day. And may we all quit fiddlin’ around as our cities burn!