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The Broomweed Conspiracy, by Phil Ware Phil Ware

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    As a boy, my formative years were spent living in the country not too far from town. In the Fall, we loved to go down to the “tank” and build a fire and act tough. We could fish and do six and seventh grade “guy things” while generally thinking we were “hot stuff.” Fall was a great time to do this because it got dark earlier, it was cool enough to stand a fire, the ground was not bone dry so you didn’t threaten to burn down the whole county, and we were tired of school work.

    One of my favorite fire starters was broomweed. Broomweed was dead by late Fall. It didn’t burn long, but burned very hot and popped spectacularly. Get enough broomweed, and I think you could set concrete on fire. It definitely would start old hard Mesquite branches. The only problem was once broomweed caught on fire you couldn’t stop it until it burned itself up. It was too hot to get close to and when you did, all you could do by trying to stamp it out would be to send incendiary sparks in every direction, threatening to set everything around you on fire. Even without stirring up a broomweed fire, it would shoot sparks all over the place with it’s spectacular popping as it burned up in seconds.

There was something unconquerable about their fire!
    Over the last few weeks as I studied the book of Acts, the image of broomweed has come back to me again and again. F.F. Bruce entitled his history of the early church The Spreading Flame. While that is an excellent title for the first hundred years of Christianity, I think The Broomweed Conspiracy would be my title for the first 40 years. The church grew quickly. Few of its leaders lived long lives. Yet there was something unconquerable about their fire! The more that fire was persecuted, the more it grew. Kill Stephen, and sparks fly up all over the world and begin new fires. Run it out of town, and it goes further down the road and starts bigger fires there. Lock up its key leaders, and Roman Law takes the flame to Rome itself where it can’t be contained. Like broomweed, once this flame was lit trying to put it out only spread the sparks, which ignited more flame.

It is time for us to use our short time on this planet to offer ourselves up to the spreading flame!
    As we approach the end of the current millennium and the beginning of another, my prayer is that the Holy Spirit will ignite in us another broomweed conspiracy. I pray the Spirit stirs us to be a people who not only believe Jesus’ word, but who share it, practice it, and are roused by it.

    Isn’t it time for all of us who believe in the Jesus of the Gospels to pray that the Lord stirs us and ignites us by his Spirit. Isn’t it time for us to use our few years on this planet to offer ourselves up to the spreading flame as broomweed, willing to burn brightly in our short time so that the sparks of truth and salvation will be spread.

    Please join us at HEARTLIGHT as we pray for God to use his people and for God to ignite a fire in our hearts and in his world so others may know the saving power of the Gospel and the triumphant lordship of his Son. Let’s be part of the new broomweed conspiracy!

A “tank” in rural Texas is what is called a pond or small lake in many other English speaking locales. It is a place where livestock can come for water, and is usually stocked with fish.


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