I, Eric, am standing in an arena, with eleven other kids, whom I'm expected to kill.
The countdown clock is running down to the start of the Games and my mind is toying with the questions I've been asking myself ever since my name was chosen in the Reaping:
Can I even do this?
Should I do this?
If I refuse to "play" the Games or try to be a hero, the Peacekeepers will kill my parents and five siblings, at the behest of the President.
However, If I choose to be a "willing" participant in the Games, it means I must turn myself into a stone-cold killer.
Is that even fathomable?
My heart seared and scabbed by murder and my hands, dripping with innocent blood.
But what is the alternative?
If I don't, Death will come to me and my loved ones, anyway...
These are just some of the moral conundrums that the teens in Suzanne Collin's book, the "Hunger Games", have to face when they are forced to participate in an annual killing-fest created by their fascist government.
In my opinion, the best SciFi and fantasy books are those where you can see yourself in the position of the characters.
How would I, as a Christian, react to being forced into a situation where I must either kill or be killed?
How would the Church react to such an edict, following the crushing put-down of a rebellion against the fascist Captiol regime?
While the story's backdrop is a futuristic post-apocalyptic North America, the book makes no mention of the Church.
If you'll excuse my speculation, this makes perfect sense to me, considering the true Church of Christ would probably have been forced underground in the rebellion against the tyrannical forces, which led to the Caption/District system and ultimately the Hunger Games, itself.
In keeping with that thought, let's suppose, for imaginative purposes, that there is an underground Church and that you and I are a part of it.
The time comes for the Reaping and our names our picked.
What do you do?
Assuming there is no escape, do you enter the Games and refuse to fight, which would appear to be the biblical option, even though you and your family will be killed anyaway?
Perhaps you will fight, pick up a bow, a spear, a hook, a knife, or an axe, and take the life of a another person, not much different in age than you, in order to save yourself and your family
Would you do that to me?
From the outside looking in, I think one viable option for me would be the "path of least bloodshed":
To not attack unless attacked, and fighting to kill only if deadly force is being used against you.
Nonetheless, something tells me that if I was actually in the Games, I probably would just sit down in the grass and wait for the inevitable...
Now I know that the Hunger Game's is fiction and I think we're safe to say that the situations that the characters in the book are presented with we will never have to face.
However, from the time of Jesus to today, March 22, 2012, there are those who are faced with the choice to deny the Lord of Glory or suffer the consequences.
If they deny Him, their lives may be spared, but if they choose to stand in their commitment to Christ, they, their families, and friends may be put in grave danger.
Do you know what you would do if you had to choose either Jesus, or your life and the life of your family?
While I may not be able to map out a sure-fire plan of what I would do in either situation or in the many trials I will face on earth, I know that because of the Spirit of Christ within me, I need not be afraid, for He, who reigns over all, has overcome the world.
And I know that if time ever came where I must either deny Christ or live, He would give me the strength to say, I do believe.
---Leave me a comment and tell me what you would do if you were in the Hunger Games or faced with a "Life or Jesus" situation ---