Saturday, August 8, 2009

Zion and Babylon

I’ve been reading a book titled “Jesus Wants to Save Christians” by Rob Bell. What I read today really hit me. America is selfish. Yes, I’ve always known that, but I’ve never seen it explained in the light of the history of the stories in the Bible. History really does repeat itself. The chapter was describing America as an empire, much like the empire that Solomon built. An empire built at the expense of the less fortunate. There were several statistics in this chapter that practically made me sick:

*”Every 7 seconds, somewhere in the world a child under age five dies of hunger, while Americans throw away 14 percent of the food we purchase.”

*”More than half of the world lives on less than two dollars a day, while the average American teenager spends nearly $150 a week.”

*”Americans spend more annually on trash bags than nearly half of the world does on all goods.”

It’s pretty difficult to sum up the book without completely retyping the whole thing. So I suggest picking it up to read, even if you’re not a Christian. But I think that this song titled “Zion and Babylon” by Josh Garrels sums up the chapter pretty well:

Oh great mammon of form and function
Careless consumerist consumption
Dangerous dysfunction
Described as expensive taste
I’m a people disgraced
By what I claim I need
And what I want to waste
I take no account for nothing
If it’s not mine
It’s a misappropriation of funds
Protect my ninety percent with my guns
Whose side am I on?
Well who’s winning?
My kingdom’s built with the blood of slaves
Orphans, widows, and homeless graves
I sold their souls just to build my private mansion
Some people say that my time is coming
Kingdom come is the justice running
Down, down, down on me
I’m a poor child, I’m a lost son
I refuse to give my love to anyone,
Fight for the truth,
Or help the weaker ones
Because I love my Babylon
I am a slave, I was never free
I betrayed you for blood money
Oh I bought the world, all is vanity
Oh my Lord I’m your enemy
Come to me, and find your life
Children sing, Zion’s in sight
I said don’t trade your name for a serial number
Priceless lives were born from under graves
Where I found you
Say, my name ain’t yours and yours is not mine
Mine is the Lord, and yours is my child
That’s how it’s always been
Time to make a change
Leave your home
Give to the poor all that you own
Lose your life, so that you could find it
First will be last when the true world comes
Livin’ like a humble fool to overcome
The upside-down wisdom
Of a dying world
Zion’s not built with hands
And in this place God will dwell with man
Sick be healed and cripples stand
Sing Allelu
My kingdom’s built with the blood of my son
Selfless sacrifice for everyone
Faith, hope, love, and harmony
I said let this world know me by your love
By your love
Oh my child, daughters and sons
I made you in love to overcome
Free as a bird, my flowers in the sun
On your way to Mount Zion
All you slaves, be set free
Come on out child and come on home to me
We will dance, we will rejoice
If you can hear me then follow my voice

But feeling guilty about all of this solves nothing. We need to realize that God has blessed us in order to bless others. I would encourage you to get out and serve others by using your talents and time. Serve them because you honestly care about them and want to share what you have been blessed with. Serve them not because it’s the trendy thing to do. Serve them and don’t tell anyone about it. It’s about them and about serving God, not about us getting praise. Sure people may notice your good works, but that’s not the reason we should do them. As American Christians, we have the chance to share the love of Christ with all those who are around us, and it's not even necessary to go on a long trip to find people who need to know the love of Christ and see it demonstrated. Just look next door.

Please feel free to share this note with other friends.

(I previously posted this on facebook where there are comments in on it to further the discussion. i just don't want to post them since they're not my comments.)

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