I just finished Suzanne Collins’ bestselling book titled “Mockingjay” (the third and final installment in the Hunger Games series). Read my review of part one at http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2012/03/hunger.html and of part two at http://justinfarley.blogspot.com/2012/04/catching.html. For a book series that largely targets teenagers, the author raises some pretty serious questions of our cultural norms.
Speaking of the fictitious “Capitol,” one character suggests,”The writer was saying that in return for full bellies and entertainment, his people had given up their political responsibilities and therefore their power” (223).
Fat and happy. Sounds oddly familiar. In what ways am I distracted? Am I so set on feeling good that I am doing no good? The Hunger Games entertained WITH violence. In our day, we tend to entertain FROM violence.
One of my greatest concerns with the wars in the Middle East, now lasting well over a decade, is that they have cost most of us so very little. Sure, there have been many debates on privacy and personal freedom – as there should be – but there has been no real call to personal responsibility. For example, during World War II the majority of the populace had to cut back on several day-to-day items. Citizens were reminded that war cost EVERYONE something. They knew that there was STILL a war going on. That something was very wrong with the world that needed to be made right. People were hurting. People were dying. The LEAST I could do was…
But what happened just days after September 11th? Our president called us to spend. In other words, go about life as usual. And we have. His successor has not done much better. His concern seems to be on making things fair. Reminding many of us that we deserve that which we do not currently have. “Don’t ask what your country can do for you” has turned into “Demand what your country must do for you.”
This blog is not about a certain president, foreign policy, or political ideology. This blog is about us – the public. Politics won’t save us. Just look at the election cycle. What is the main issue? The economy, stupid. In other words, it is still about us. What we need. What we deserve. Go on – think of yourself so you don’t have to think of anyone else.
So who is called out to live in a new way? The church has the responsibility and opportunity to invite and anticipate another Kingdom. But have we also become so distracted that we are no longer any different? What happens if our church won’t play the music that we prefer? Or offer the bible study that we so much enjoy? Or they cancel the ministry that we have directed for years? What if the pastor preaches a message that we do not agree with or challenges us to do something that we don’t want to do?
The church is entrusted with the transformative message and mission – but are we pointing to the Truth, the Way, and the Life? Have we been changed? Are we bringing about change?
As long as our bellies are full and we are entertained?