“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” – Matthew 6:33
As I prepare Lenten sermons, I’m reminded of a book I read a few years ago: Consumed, by Benjamin Barber.
Long gone are the days when the US economy was built around selling goods like timber, wool and wheat that served actual needs. Marketing professionals now search for new ways to reinvent and recreate goods in order to sell more stuff. Today’s consumerist economy is sustained by creating desires, convincing us to purchase anything from the latest smart phone to a bazillion different kinds of mustard.
I’m especially struck by Barber’s recollection of a time when he purchased bottled water. Bottled water, in a country where clean water flows straight from the tap, is a prime example of a manufactured need. “Over a billion people are without drinking water. ”Why don’t we find out ways to get the water they need to them, instead of new ways of getting water to us?”