Some things never change…

I’m preaching the sermon at Harvest Thanksgiving in my placement church on the 23rd. The lectionary readings for that Sunday are very appropriate and I particularly liked the one from Amos:

Amos 8:4 Listen to this, you that trample on the needy and try to destroy the poor of the country.
8:5 You say to yourselves, “We can hardly wait for the holy days to be over so that we can sell our grain. When will the Sabbath end, so that we can start selling again? Then we can overcharge, use false measures, and fix the scales to cheat our customers.
8:6 We can sell worthless wheat at a high price. We’ll find someone poor who can’t pay his debts, not even the price of a pair of sandals, and we’ll buy him as a slave.”
8:7 The LORD, the God of Israel, has sworn, “I will never forget their evil deeds.

When we consider the effects of globalisation and ‘market forces’, who’s to say that things have changed much today? Our quest for cheaper goods, our throwaway lifestyle, our desire for more exotica (be it food or whatever) has a global impact. And there will always be someone ready to supply that need all the while exploiting the supplier to make their own profit.

We may make our outward show of ethical behaviour, but behind it, what’s really going on? Whether wilfully or in wilful ignorance, we can’t ignore the effect our consumerism has at a global level. All the more so if we claim the name Christian yet hold the lives of others in contempt.

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