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Holy discontent

Holy discontent

Something to read

You shall not covet your neighbour’s house; you shall not covet your neighbour’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbour.

- Exodus 20:17.

Something to think about

I’ll be honest: for the majority of my Christian life, I’ve mostly thought of the tenth commandment as the one with the amusing English pun about desiring donkeys and derrieres. But when we (eventually) manage to move past the childish humour, there’s plenty to chew over in this final bullet point of Moses’ tablets.

For a start, there’s the problematic inclusion of people – wives and slaves – in a list of property that might belong to someone else. The ownership of human beings that is assumed in so much of biblical law should cause continual discomfort, especially to those of us who are committed to these texts as Scripture, lest we be tempted to avoid grappling with the subject.

As we dwell today on the instruction to be content with what we have, rather than chasing after what has been given to someone else, let us remember how many people, particularly women, are still treated as the property of others. Our contentment can’t be complete until they share in it.

Something to do

Take a look at the anti-trafficking work signposted by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.

Something to pray

God of integrity, thank you that you have made every person in your image with great dignity and worth. Help me to be content with the good things that I have, but keep me from ever being content with the ongoing oppression of others. Where slavery and trafficking continue, please bring justice and freedom swiftly. Amen.

Today’s contributor is Rev Claire Jones