Wednesday, November 15
How Many Slaves?
Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Kace Leetch from Clergy Stuff.
A few years back, when The Hunger Games book and movie series was at its peak, the makeup brand, CoverGirl, came out with a makeup line honoring the 12 districts of Panem. In other words, people could wear their makeup to dress up like the people living in the Capitol, the luxurious and exploitative district that was responsible for murdering children in their annual "game" to the death. I was quite appalled that the makeup giant had so badly misunderstood the point of the books/films. They were, in essence, celebrating the oppressors. They completely missed the reality that we, living in the "First World," are the oppressors, the ones murdering children so that we can have our cushy lifestyles, couture, and tech.
Personally, I had a hard time reading and watching The Hunger Games, particularly because I recognized myself in the description of the Capitol. And it brought to my attention just how privileged I truly am. In the series, the Capitol did finally get what they deserved -- a total overthrow of power and loss of privilege. In Amos, the privileged also got what they deserved -- a loss of power and privilege. It makes me wonder just what it will take before I also lose my power and privilege. Or are we too big to fail? Maybe, just maybe there's a little something I can do to share my privilege with those who have less. And maybe I can alter my lifestyle, even if in baby steps, so that my lifestyle requires less sacrifice from the radically poor all over the world.
Do you know how many slaves it took to afford you the lifestyle you currently have? There's a website called Slavery Footprint that can tell you exactly how many slaves you employed for your lifestyle. It also gives you some things you can do to decrease that number. And know that God isn't out to get us. We simply can do more to promote justice and peace in our world.
Narrative Lectionary Text: Amos 6:1-8
Alas for those who are at ease in Zion, and for those who feel secure on Mount Samaria, the notables of the first of the nations, to whom the house of Israel resorts! Cross over to Calneh, and see; from there go to Hamath the great; then go down to Gath of the Philistines. Are you better than these kingdoms? Or is your territory greater than their territory, O you that put far away the evil day, and bring near a reign of violence? Alas for those who lie on beds of ivory, and lounge on their couches, and eat lambs from the flock, and calves from the stall; who sing idle songs to the sound of the harp, and like David improvise on instruments of music;who drink wine from bowls, and anoint themselves with the finest oils, but are not grieved over the ruin of Joseph! Therefore they shall now be the first to go into exile, and the revelry of the loungers shall pass away.
The Lord God has sworn by himself (says the Lord, the God of hosts): I abhor the pride of Jacob and hate his strongholds; and I will deliver up the city and all that is in it.