On Sunday morning, I preached on the Beatitudes in Luke 6. At Jacob's Well, we used the movie the Lion King to illustrate the point that the blessings and woes in Luke's version show that a lack of material stuff does not mean a person is not blessed, and an abundance of material stuff does not mean a person is blessed. This is of course very Biblical, but counter cultural.
Where does the Lion King enter in, you may ask? Well, in pride land before King Mufasa dies, all is in harmony and balance. Everyone has enough. This is what abundant life means in Scripture...enough-ness (thank you Megan Shitama and her gospel in consumer culture class she is taking at Wesley Seminary).
Then, Scar and his hyena henchman take the throne. They consume more than their fair share. The whole system is thrown way out of balance. Simba lives in "don't worry be happy land" with his two friends, steadfastly ignoring what is really happening. This is in essence what happens in our real live world. I/we live in a world that is being decimated by some taking way more than our fair share, while billions of people life in poverty. But because I am an American, I can choose to live in "don't worry be happy land" and ignore it all if I so choose.
Ever taken the environmental footprint quiz? Click here to check it out. It asks a series of simple questions to determine how many planets we would need to support the life of our world population if everyone lived like I do. My footprint says it would take 3 planets. The last time I took it, it said 4. (Not quite sure what I began doing right...but I have been trying!)
To live a beatitude life, a blessed life, a life in the Kingdom of God, the abundant life which God promises...well that means I have to share in all of life, including the messy suffering parts where people are poor, hungry, weeping, and reviled. Simba had to go back, face reality, and take his rightful place in the Kingdom.
I had a concrete suggestion for folks who want to learn more about how to make more of a difference in the world. It is a book called The Better World Handbook. They also have a website, click here.
When I went on Amazon to get the link to the book I own (click here) I found, joy of joys, that it is about to released up updated form. For that link click here.