Commodity, Equality and Rest.

If we look up the commodity market, we will get the prices of oil and gas, gold and silver, corn and soybeans, hogs and cattle, and cocoa and coffee.  Items we use, in our world, are on the commodities market.  But what we don’t see is what society has made the greatest commodity – people.  I am not talking about the human slave trade, an appalling huge problem in our world today (topic for another time).  I am talking about how people have become commodities and how likewise we treat people as commodities, as items we use as needed.

  I am reminded that society has made humanity a commodity.

Think about it for a minute, and it takes a minute.  In my world every time I achieve in my field, or take a course it goes on what is called my curriculum vitae (CV).  This is a record of what I have done in order to sell myself in and on the commodities market of humanity.  In fact in my current career it is required in order for me to maintain my position in my particular field.  But each time I put something on that CV, I am reminded that society has made humanity a commodity.

People are not to be commodities we use, but that is the concept of our world.  Unfortunately, we in turn, often are treated or treat people as items we use as per the value they have to us in a particular time and space (have you ever felt used, like you gave all to a person but as soon as they no longer needed you, you never hear from them again).

Is not society about ladder climbing?  I have been a butcher, a baker and a candle stick maker, not literally but figuratively.  I have changed careers or at least tracks of careers.  It has not been about climbing the corporate ladder for me.  In fact often those changes have led me to the bottom of a new particular field.  But each time I have found that as a person who seeks to offer my best to my work (as unto the Lord) that each career is designed to climb the ladder from the bottom to the top.  We get promoted make more money, have title, based on experience and expertise (our commodity).

Recently while in a place of rest, on a cruise ship with several thousand other people at rest, I reflected.  Of the guests on board, I am sure there were leaders & servers, bosses & bossed, employers, employees, & unemployed.  But on the cruise ship, that place of rest, there was no distinction.  I am sure there were those with large bank accounts & those with large debt loads, those with big & small homes, those that rented & those that owned.  But on the cruise ship, that place of rest, there was no distinction.

There were no distinctions based on salary, position, prestige, or power.  That is what rest does.  God called us to a day of rest, yes to worship Him, but it is also the command sandwiched between how we are to honor God and how we are to honor people.  The Sabbath rest; evens the playing field, in part to remind us, when society takes us off track. At Sabbath rest, we are equal, there is no position, power, achievement or authority over another. 

At Sabbath rest, we are equal, there is no position, power, achievement or authority over another.

 We do not bring our CV to Sabbath rest.  Jefferson Bethke cited Abraham Herschel’s definition of what Sabbath rest is, “A reminder of every man’s royalty, an abolition of the distinction of master and slave, rich and poor, success and failure.  To celebrate the Sabbath is to experience one’s ultimate independence of civilization and society, of achievement and anxiety.  The Sabbath is an embodiment of the belief that all men are equal and that equality of men means the nobility of men…”.   The Sabbath rest reminds us as Phil 2 says to, “have the same mindset as Christ Jesus”.  As we read on, we see that even though he had the ultimate power and position, the kenosis passage as Philippians 2;7 is called, talks about Jesus emptying himself of all of position, power & prestige, to be nothing, to dwell among us, to serve us, to redeem us. He had to empty himself to be a redeeming factor, and he prefaces it by saying have that same mindset, in part the Sabbath rest reminds us of that, people are not commodities to be used, we are equal under God.


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