Archives for posts with tag: Hope

I’m preaching from Isaiah 65 this week. It’s a lectionary text, so I didn’t “choose” it to sway us towards something after this election cycle. It is one of my fave texts and garners such a vision for us to be captured by.

Look! I’m creating a new heaven and a new earth:
    past events won’t be remembered;
    they won’t come to mind.
Be glad and rejoice forever
    in what I’m creating,
    because I’m creating Jerusalem as a joy
    and her people as a source of gladness. –Is. 65:17-18, CEB

Martin Luther had a great response to people asking him if he thought the end was near. His reply? “Plant a tree.” In other words, invest in a hopeful and life giving future, even though those about you may seem to be working towards destruction.

So, my prayer for the coming days, is not a lament, but a call to hope.

Creation-Caster, we find ourselves star-gazing at the expanse of the universe, lingering in its light.

As we choose to be in a posture of love and life:
may a grander vision capture us,
may a sense of adventure move us,
may a new heaven and new earth envelop us so that we become the bearers of mercy, justice and peace.

Surprising God, we turn to You, expectant in our hope.

Amen.

image courtesy of WSCF Europe

image courtesy of WSCF Europe

“You know, hope is a mistake. If you can’t fix what’s broken, you’ll go insane.”

—Max Rockantasky, Mad Max: Fury Road

I stared at the large screen with so much sound rumbling through me. My very being was there, in the desert with all my senses screaming. I went to go see the latest Mad Max installment because of the reviews. They are stellar, by the way. I went, a big grudgingly, though, as this film series isn’t really my thing.

Imagine my utter and complete surprise.

There’s been quite a firestorm about this film, did ya know?   It seems that it is just too much feminism. Or is it that the heroine is really asexual and they wanted Charlize Theron to be more? Or that it is okay to finally have a blockbuster summer movie that talks about the real issue of sexual slavery? I was taken aback. There on the big screen is one of the greatest visuals on the effects of the human trafficking.

The United Nations defines human trafficking as “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.” And that definition gets lived out, right in front of your movie-going eyes.

We seem to believe that human trafficking happens… well…  not where you are. However, the stats would tell us otherwise. It seems that human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world and one of the most lucrative. Some estimate that as many as 29 million people exist in slavery worldwide, more than twice the number of slaves transported during the entire Trans-Atlantic slave trade.

This site has some staggering information: Allies Against Slavery including the following figures:

  • 83% of confirmed victims of sex trafficking cases in the U.S. are U.S. citizens.
  • 1 in 3 of Spanish-speaking migrant workers in San Diego County alone have experienced labor trafficking.
  • Hundreds of thousands of children are at risk to be forced into the commercial sex industry in the U.S. each year.
  • 86% of U.S. counties (with a population over 250,000 people) have reported that sex trafficking was a significant problem.

It sickens me. As Christians, we follow a God who values life. And if we really dig into the creation narratives we find not only that EVERY life is of great value and that the Holy loves all of the created, but that there is a bit of God residing in each of us. We are in the image of Creator, and yet all around us we treat our fellow humans as if we were a product to be bartered, sold and played with.

The Christ we follow teaches love for neighbor and those in need. Now I’m sure that filmmaker George Miller may not have been making some Christocentric statement about the state of the trafficking industry, but I wonder if those other movie-going viewers aren’t ready to hear about the state of the devaluing of human life. And I wonder, what will we say when they start asking us?