Pizza & Politics

December 12, 2016

(or, “The Parable of the Pizza People”)

A group of people got together, convinced that they have found the secret to happiness: pizza! All they had to do was find the best pizza, and then their lives would be complete, their problems solved, and their hearts filled with lasting joy.

So each day, the Pizza People pooled their money and ordered pizza for dinner. They tried Pizza Hut, and it was good, but it didn’t quite fill them with joy. They tried Domino’s, but despite the new recipe, it wasn’t exactly what they were looking for. They experimented with every pizza company, every combination of toppings, every type of crust… but they still had not found the perfect, life-changing pizza.

Instead of bringing joy and an answer to their every problem, they actually began feeling bloated and overweight. And each time it was time to decide which kind of pizza to order, heated arguments would break out and bitter factions would form, since so much was riding on getting the order right. So instead of peace and harmony, the pizza was actually bringing them great discord.

Their problem, of course, is that they are expecting something of pizza that it can never possibly do. Good pizza can be amazingly tasty, but it can never fill the deepest longings of our hearts.

Looking around at the incredible division and discord that our nation has experienced during this Presidential election cycle, I think it is because we are expecting something of politics that it can never possibly do. Like the Pizza People, we are feeling bloated, overweight, and more divided than ever, because we are foolishly trying to find a political Savior.

No matter how great a president, he or she can never fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts. A healthy government can do a lot to promote earthly justice and prosperity, but our desire for infinite love cannot be filled by an Executive Order from the Oval Office. Our need for healing cannot come from an act of Congress. Our spiritual brokenness cannot be fixed by a ruling from the Supreme Court.

People expected Obama to be our Savior, and he couldn’t do it. Trump can’t be our Savior, and neither can Hillary. Only Christ can be our Savior.

When as a nation we lose our spiritual dependence on God, treating faith as an interesting hobby among many great entertainments, then something else always takes God’s place. We will look for people or things to be the “pizza” in our lives, and just like the Pizza People, our hearts will always be left unsatisfied until we start feeding ourselves with the true Bread of Life.

As we approach Christmas, it’s a beautiful opportunity to refocus on our need for a true Savior. Is Jesus the absolute center of your life, or are there people or things that you have allowed to become your “pizza?”