Ari Fleischer was serving as White House Press Secretary as our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. He was with President Bush the entire day, and he recently tweeted his experiences from the day at the times they occurred 13 years ago. They are fascinating to read, and you can see them all here.
One of the tweets that stood out to me is this one:
My notes show I wrote that a commercial popped up on the TV for a hair removal product. Seemed a little out of place.
The commercial stood in stark contrast to the reality of the day.
One memory I have about the events around 9/11 is that news channels, for a period of weeks, only showed the news again. All the talk was around what happened, what transpired, and how we were different because of it.
In our 24/7 news world, news channels are often peppered with segments filled with advice. But in the weeks after 9/11, the advice ceased. There were not segments on “news channels” giving advice or insight on how to keep a lawn green through the fall, what not to wear this season, or how to approach the upcoming Christmas shopping season. The news was so great that advice ceased.
The gospel is good news, not good advice. The gospel is not something we do but something that Jesus has done for us. It is the declaration of Jesus taking our sin and giving us His righteousness. The news is so great, so magnificent, that it impacts everything.
Because the news is so earth shattering, so liberating, so glorious, mere advice not rooted in the reality of the news is, to quote Ari Fleischer, “out of place.” Instruction not in sync with the news, not connected to the news, is out of place. Advice ceases when we are in awe of the News.
Are there things that are “out of place” in your ministry? Things that are there that are not connected to or centered on the good news of Jesus? Things that don’t make sense when you step back and consider the epic nature of the gospel we have been entrusted with?