Living in America, one would never know that the U.S. presidential election comes a year from now. The debates, candidate commercials and endorsements have already been in full swing. Needless to say, it is going to be a long year in 2016. Isaiah the prophet may have spoken over two millennia ago, but his words smack just as relevant today when he said “truth has stumbled in the public square.”
Politics, today as in Isaiah’s day, has become less about the concern for the common good and promoting the welfare of citizens and more about winning elections and possessing power. A party spirit rules the day, where Republicans and Democrats are more polarized than ever with less and less ability to truly listen to one another in order to advance genuine justice, ethical righteousness, and social peace among the nation and the world.
We, as citizens, must all eschew getting sucked into the vortex of acrimonious speech and hate-filled rhetoric. Christians, especially those who desire to live and love like Jesus, need to be at the forefront of forsaking the hypocrisy of saying one thing and doing another; of envying power in order to satisfy personal agendas; and, of believing that malicious talk is justified if it accomplishes my wants and needs. In other words we are not to keep looking for everyone else to repent and change, but are to practice repentance ourselves. If what we speak in the public square is selfish and deceitful, we have no further to look than within when it comes to turning from evil. A slow, careful, and serious reading of the prophet Isaiah is quite necessary. If it does not lead to repentance, we only have God’s displeasure to anticipate.
Just God, you have every right to judge the world. Yet, instead of destroying the earth, you sent your Son to redeem lost humanity back to yourself. May I, along with every creature you have made, come to our senses and speak truth with grace so that there is again righteousness throughout the land. Amen.