So at this point, unless you have been living under a rock, we are all acquainted with the Hunger Games phenomena. I myself am even a fan of this trilogy. But I think it’s social commentary has more to say to us than one would gather at first glance (Spoiler alert: I might reveal sensitive details to the story line and or movie; depending on your mode of consumption). And that’s just the point. The series is about an oppressive capitol that wreaks havoc upon it’s subjugates by consumption of the goods produced by those subjects. And as if that isn’t enough they destroy any hope of collective unification among their subjects by pitting children from each of the districts against each other in a battle to the death in what is known as the Hunger Games. And now here comes the ironic part…Western Culture (I speak mainly of the 1st world i.e. the United States and parts of Western Europe) spent over $155 million dollars this weekend to be reminded through film about it’s consumptive tendencies. Do you know what $155 million could do in healing wrongs wrought in the world?
$155 million could supply 7.75 million people with clean water who previously did not have it (http://charitywater.org). $155 million could build over 7,000 schools in impoverished third world areas (http://worldvision.org). $155 million could fund over 8,000 lawyers annually for International Justice Mission in order for them to work to free slaves around the world (http://ijm.org). Or $155 million dollars could cement the fact that we have no idea of what righteousness looks like in our world today and perhaps the fact that we are no better than the evil “Capitol” in the Hunger Games trilogy.
In Matthew 5:6 Jesus says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” I love the fact that the words for seeking righteousness refer to basic human needs; hunger and thirst. And righteousness in this sense is not what you may think. You see righteousness, at least as it was understood by a 1st century Jew, meant right-relationship; justice for your fellow man. So Jesus is essentially saying, “Blessed are you when that which drives you, almost as much as your life sustaining drives, is the desire to see justice for your fellow man. And guess what? You will be so driven that you will be filled. You will see justice done, otherwise your hunger and thirst will never be abated.” Okay, maybe that was a little wordy for Jesus but you get the point.
That’s ultimately the problem in our broken world. Misplaced hunger. We hunger for entertainment and escape, rather than deliverance from oppression from those who make our clothes, grow our crops, build our toys and suffer our indifference. I am pretty sure at this point the $155 million speaks for itself. And although I loved the story…even the movie, I can’t help but be convicted by my appetite.