Saturday, January 28, 2012

No plastic bubble

Many of us remember the 1976 John Travolta made for TV movie, The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, about a boy whose lack of proper immune system made it necessary for him to live separated from the rest of the world.

The first reading today brought that movie to mind because too many people seem to think that if God is a just God, we would all be the boy in the plastic bubble. If I do good, I alone reap the reward. If I choose to do wrong, I alone suffer the consequences– my moral plastic bubble. Anything else is deemed unfair.

This simplistic notion of fair denying a law of the way God made the world that is as real as the law of gravity, the interconnectedness of human beings.

While we as 21st century Christians would not use language of punishment used in Old Testament, we know that children often suffer because of the actions of their parents. Adults and children will starve today because of the actions and inactions of people thousands of miles away.

We cannot deny our interconnectedness any more than we can deny gravity. We cannot live in isolation, even if we want to. Today the ripple effect is bigger than ever. In the time of David the ripple might touch his family, his tribe, his people. Now our choices ripple around the world.

Think of the number of countries and people whose lives were impacted by my choice to buy the iPad on which I write this. The fact that this posting can be read around the world. How we use the world's resources effects the entire world.

The morality of our choices matters more broadly than ever.

The good news is that just as others suffer the effects of our bad choices so others can reap the benefits of good and wise choices. We can save and improve lives thousands of miles away when we as individuals and as a nation make better choices.