For the past several weeks, Christ Church Cathedral youth have reflected theologically on the Hunger Games. Unless you have been in hibernation, you may have noticed that Catching Fire, the second movie in the trilogy releases, on November 22.
On Sunday, our group watched the scene of Rue’s death from the first movie. Many people are familiar with this scene. Katniss, the main character forms a beautiful relationship with a young girl named Rue. The two are very different – Rue is a meek, hardworking, darker skinned, twelve-year old orchard picker from District 11. Katniss is a strong, rebellious, white, daughter of a deceased coal-miner from District 12. In the Hunger Games Arena, Katniss befriend Rue. As she does so, she finds that the differences between the two are far less than their similarities. Rue reminds Katniss of her younger sister, Prim. They form a special bond.
Upon Rue’s death in the arena, Katniss refuses to just let Rue be another disrespected and forgotten child who dies. Lovingly, Katniss prepares her body for burial with a wonderful blanket of flowers. It is a turning point in the story, for it allows all people to see Rue as a person of value and worth. By her actions, Katniss points out that all persons are worthy of dignity and respect.
God who made us knows that we are all worthy of respect. The Gospel of Luke reminds us how valuable to God we are – “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten in God’s sight. But even the hairs of your head are all counted. Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:6-7, NRSV). We matter to God. All of us matter. We matter when we are up and when we are down, when we are from Appaliachia for from the capital, when we are 12, 16 and 102, when we are meek and when we are strong. All of us matter.
All of us matter to God and because of that, God sends us Katniss’ everywhere to remind us of how special we are.
Matthew 25 reminds us that whenever we help those in need – the prisoner, the stranger, the naked, the thirsty, and the sick we help Christ. All of us have been in a position to help those around us and all of us have been in a position to need help. As we live our days, let us be mindful of the people who God has sent to help us.
A prayer written with help from Christ Church Middle Schoolers –
God, we give you thanks for loving and caring for us. We thank you for all the times that we were sick and you healed us, thirsty and you filled us with living water, imprisoned and you visited us. We thank you especially for the times when we were lost and you found us, when we were empty and you filled us, when we were confused and you gave us clarity. We thank you for the people who pick us up when we are stuck, made us happy when we are sad, and show us the way back home when we are homesick. Sometimes we feel like a fish out of water, but you always throw us back. You love us, and we thank you. Amen.