Skip to main content

Slavery and Sabbath

Recently we have been reading Walter Brueggemann's "Sabbath as Resistance - Saying no to the culture of now" as part of our Circuit Book Group. Its a short but deep book with profound implications if we were to take it seriously. It, together with a couple of recent conversations and my cyclical low mood, combined to produce the following. I am not implying that any of the experiences alluded to here can in any way be compared to historic or contemporary slavery. That is an evil of an entirely different order. But there is no doubt that modern life involves a lot of voluntary and involuntary complicity with systems that rob us of agency, or affords us excuses to blame others and circumstances for where we are in a manner that seems to have begun shortly after the first ever sabbath... I could say a lot more, but you are probably better off reading Brueggemann's book... it's much more coherent.

Enslaved.
Shackled by the system.
A pawn in the great game.

Enslaved.
Caught on the conveyor belt.
Entangled in the network.

Enslaved.
Servant to many masters.
Building a pyramid of slaves.

Enslaved.
Snared by the salary.
Wedded to the wage.

Enslaved.
Owned by the bank.
Mortgaged to materialism.

Enslaved.
Manacled to the market.
Devoted to the divine economy.

Enslaved.
Dictated to by the diary.
Tyrannised by the to do list

Enslaved.
Tied to technology.
Digitally dependent.

Enslaved.
Bound by basic biology.
Constricted by that double helix.

Enslaved.
Driven by appetite.
Addicted to avarice. 

Enslaved.
Circumscribed by circumstance.
Neutered by nature and nurture.

Enslaved.
Burdened by the weight of history.
Undone by what cannot be undone.

Enslaved.
Delineated by religious rules.
Restricted by respectability.

Enslaved.
Bordered by nationalism.
Boundaried by denominationalism.

Enslaved.
Dictated to by petty politics.
Disempowered by “democracy.”

Enslaved.
Bounded by binaries.
Boxed and filed away.

Stop!
Take a chance to step back.
Make a choice to say “No!”

Selah  







 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Woman of no Distinction

Don't often post other people's stuff here... But I found this so powerful that I thought I should. It's a performance poem based on John 4: 4-30, and I have attached the original YouTube video below. A word for women, and men, everywhere... "to be known is to be loved, and to be loved is to be known." I am a woman of no distinction of little importance. I am a women of no reputation save that which is bad. You whisper as I pass by and cast judgmental glances, Though you don’t really take the time to look at me, Or even get to know me. For to be known is to be loved, And to be loved is to be known. Otherwise what’s the point in doing either one of them in the first place? I WANT TO BE KNOWN. I want someone to look at my face And not just see two eyes, a nose, a mouth and two ears; But to see all that I am, and could be all my hopes, loves and fears. But that’s too much to hope for, to wish for, or pray for So I don’t, not anymore. Now I keep to myself And

Psalm for Harvest Sunday

A short responsive psalm for us as a call to worship on Harvest Thanksgiving Sunday, and given that it was pouring with rain as I headed into church this morning the first line is an important remembrance that the rain we moan about is an important component of the fruitfulness of the land we live in: You tend the land and water it And the earth produces its abundance. You crown each year with your bounty, and our storehouses overflow with your goodness. The mountain meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are filled with corn; Your people celebrate your boundless grace They shout for joy and sing. from Psalm 65

Everyday Discipleship

Reading again the story of Joshua and the walls of Jericho in preparation for our current Bible Study on "Whole Life Worship" and I am struck again by the difficulty, and importance, of connecting such stories with the everyday experience of people... and indeed myself. Years ago a friend wrote a poem that said "Oh to be in shining armour at the photocopier..." More that a quarter of a century later those words still resonate with me... Ask me clearly  To do the impossible  And I will happily attempt it. Separate waters  With a walking stick To escape pursuing foes. Blow my trumpet  To demolish the impregnable Despite mocking from the ramparts. Face a fearsome giant With a few pebbles, faith And not so youthful arrogance. Sit amongst lions Rather than desert you, Anticipating our enemies’ demise. Let me be a hero Striding across scripture Your words in my ears and mouth. Yes Lord, please Deliver me, not from evil But the undifferentiated mundane; The daily demands