Manna and Mercy

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11. The Pyramid

Summary: God has called us into authentic partnership. God has chosen to need us, to be dependent on us to fulfill the dream of mending our world. When we choose not to love, society takes on a structure of domination. People begin to think of themselves as “big deals”, standing on top of others. In the book of Exodus, we find a leader (Pharaoh) who is fearful of people and forgetful of God – and he designs a structure of domination. A fear-full leader is a love-less leader. A leader who forgets God wants to be treated as a god, worshipped like God, who thinks they are god. An oppressive system rests on exploited people at the bottom. Religion often ordains this system and the military protects it. Using the example of a pyramid, if you own a car, a computer, a house with an indoor bathroom, you are in the top 5 or 10% of the pyramid of the world. If you eat 3 meals a day, it means you are wealthy. We need to realize where we are on this pyramid in relation to the world. If we want to journey anywhere, we need to first know where we are. We need to be honest about where we are on the economic pyramid. Salvation, liberation, redemption is not “good news” for everyone. If slaves go free, what will Pharaoh think of that? The status quo is skewed on behalf of the privileged. So proclamation of good news for the poor, release to the captives, and manna and mercy for all, is not good news for those who have a stake in this pyramid. Sin (love-lessness, justice-lessness, no gentleness, …) is never private. Sin is personal but always has public or political ramifications because it impacts the way society is structured. Because sin has a social impact, there is no such thing as personal, private salvation. We cannot privatize God’s word. Every decision we make impacts on everybody.

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