Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Lesson's from the Sneetches

Now, the Star-Bell Sneetches had bellies with stars.
The Plain-Belly Sneetches had none upon thars.
Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small.
You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

But, because they had stars, all the Star-Belly Sneetches
Would brag, “We’re the best kind of Sneetch on the beaches.”
With their snoots in the air, they would sniff and they’d snort
“We’ll have nothing to do with the Plain-Belly sort!”
And, whenever they met some, when they were out walking,
They’d hike right on past them without even talking.

If you have ever read the Sneetches by Dr Seuss you'll find that the Sneetches are not too different than people. One group of Sneetches looked down upon the other. That was until one day when the crafty Sylvester McMonkey McBean offered a solution to their problem. For a small fee he offered to put stars on the bellies of Sneetches without. When the original star bellied Sneetches saw this they were upset. They were the superior Sneetches, but now no one would know. McBean, being the kind soul that he was had another machine that could take stars off for another small fee. Sneetches shuffled in and out machines until they ran out of money and no one knew who was who.

In James 2:1-4 we are told, "My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, 'You sit here in a good place,' and you say to the poor man, 'You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,' have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?"

James' audience had the same problem as the Sneetches. They made superficial distinctions among themselves. McBean offered an external solution to an internal problem of the heart. People, governments, and organizations do the same thing today. The Sneetches were fortunate to learn a hard lesson when they came to the end of their resources. The story tells us, That the Sneetches got really quite smart on that day. The day they decided that Sneetches are Sneetches. And no kind of Sneetch is the best on the beaches.

How did the Sneetches get to the place where some were thought of as better than others? It certainly wasn't because stars were better than none. The thoughts of superiority were still there when the stars were gone. This probably started years and years ago. For centuries the stories have been passed down the reminded Sneetches who and what was best.

We have our stories too. They shape what we believe about each other, God, and ourselves. God has a better story. It is a story that tells of our common beginning and problem of all humanity. The story introduces a common Savior and a shared family identity and destination for those that follow this Savior. In this story we have been told there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.(Galatians 3:28) What story are you living from?

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