Did you ever play the game hot potato? We played this all the time in school. We usually used a bean bag, not a potato. We would be standing or sitting in a circle and the music would begin. The idea was that you had to pass the object to the next person in the circle as fast you could, because the person who was holding the object when the music stopped would be “out”.
It’s only as an adult that the game made any sense, because a hot baked potato is like that; you can touch it briefly because the potato skin is not that hot at first. But if you hold onto it, it will burn your fingers as the heat penetrates your skin!
This week we’re going to be talking about how violence can be spread like a hot potato. Violence can be passed on from person to person without actually harming the people who are carrying it, until it hits the intended target, and then “Bang!”
Think about gossip. It doesn’t hurt to pass on a tidbit of juicy gossip, many people pass it on until it hits the ears of the person it’s about and then “Bang!”
Or think about a bomb. Someone has the idea of a bomb, and they make plans, which are then constructed in a factory, the bomb is transported to an airplane, it’s carried by a crew in the air, someone presses a button and then a few seconds later “Bang!” No one who touched the bomb up to that point was hurt, even though hundreds of people might have been involved in its construction and deployment.
In the hot potato game, who is responsible? The next to last person in the game? Or is everyone who handled the potato somehow involved in the result? This Sunday we’re going to be talking about someone in the Bible who played a dangerous game of hot potato. See you Sunday!
This week’s prayer: Open our eyes this week to see the rules of the games we play.