My Uncle sent me the picture of a tee shirt, and on this tee shirt is a new word that is found in the Urban Dictionary. Ineptocracy is the word and it means “a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.” And as much as I want to write about this new word, I feel I have been a bit too negative lately and want to focus on something a bit more positive, especially during the Christmas season.
The narrative involving this time of year involves the birth of a baby. This baby had a purpose, He was on a “mission from God,” one of much more importance than the Blues Brothers. This mission from God involved setting people free from bondage. This little baby would grow up, and then around 33 years old die a horrible death, paying the price for our sin, and then rise again on the third day. This narrative is central to this time of the year.
However, as I thought about this yesterday, I realized this narrative is expressed in so many different ways in our society, that I believe there is a greater truth that is within all of us, one that all of us yearn for; freedom. As a Christian I believe I have been set free from the bondage of sin. This does not mean I am perfect, just that I have been set free from the effects of sin and slavery to sin. Ever since the fall of Adam, mankind has struggled with the evils of slavery. It is through the savior that one is freed from this.
The slavery to sin plays out in human existence in many ways and many expressions of evil, but nothing as horrible as the enslavement of people by an oppressing class. Over the weekend I was reminded of the atrocity of slavery by taking my wife and grand daughter to see “12 Years a Slave,” based on the book written by Solomon Northrup. He was a free black man born in New York State that was kidnapped and sent to Louisiana as a slave. It was a horribly graphic movie that demonstrated the evils of slavery. There is a very graphic scene where Patsy, who though she was trying to make her life better by sleeping with her white master, is whipped by him in a drunken state. There is an incredible statement in this movie that hit me right between the eyes, “with every stroke of the lash you lose a little bit of your humanity.” I think this is true when we exercise cruelty, with every cruel act a little bit of us die.
Please don’t think I am minimizing the horrific nature of slavery, but within this event I see the gospel. The bondage of slavery, the need for freedom, and a subsequent event that sets the slave free is central to all of us as a race. In the case of Solomon Northrup it was a man that listened to him, a man who hated slavery, a man who was willing to pay the price for Solomon’s freedom. When Solomon walks into his home in New York after 12 years, and sees his wife and daughter, who was now married and had a child, I lost it. Powerful!
Another story that reminded me of the reality of this narrative that is deep within humanity, involves the Hunger Games. I read Catching Fire on Saturday, and I have now stated the last book in the series. It is a book about the struggle of those who are oppressed and those who oppress. Katness becomes the face of the rebellion, and people look to her as a savior. They are tired of their bondage to the capital, and want to be set free. This too is an expression of this deep need within each of us to be free.
Book three starts with Katness in district 13, which everyone in the other twelve districts thought was destroyed. However, it wasn’t and it is leading the rebels in the other districts to set themselves free from the bondage of President Snow. However, Coin, who is the President of district 13, may be just as oppressive as Snow. The so-called good President is just as controlling as the bad one. This made me think of the words from a song by the Who, “meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”
Two examples of literature that demonstrate the depth of our desire for freedom; two examples among many that all reflect the truth of our need as a fallen race! During this season let’s stop and remember why Jesus came! He came to set us free from the bondage of sin. So many are addicted to drugs, violence, alcohol, and fear. There is freedom, and there is a railroad that will lead one to this freedom. There are many of us who are working to help people find the path to the northland where they can be free. All you have to do is look for the quilts (signs) that tell you where to go.
What happened with Northrup? What did he do when he returned home? He became an active abolitionist providing the path to freedom for slaves by helping them escape. He tried to prosecute those that kidnapped him, but when the system supports something evil, it is hard to win. But he did do his part by helping people travel to freedom.
I am not going to mock anyone today, because this is the time of year when we celebrate the baby who is the freedom railroad for humanity. It is time to rejoice in a God who loved us enough to give His only Son to die for us that we might be free. See I can be positive!
And that is my thought for the day!