I've been spending time with the 'Wicked Tenants' this week since I wrote the previous post. I believe that we share their problem of desiring ownership. It goes far beyond a temptation. It's a goal of life, admired, understood and shared by people of every social class. We are conditioned to work toward ownership; owning is better than renting. We even get tax breaks for ownership. "Accumulate, store in barns" are all part of the same pattern of greed that grows out of a desire to provide for ourselves and make a safe future. Yet the ownership issue is in a slightly different category. We understand greed as over-providing, far beyond what is needed. But ownership is just a good step along the path of self-sufficiency. What we don't see is that even our desire for self-sufficiency is bad when it is raised to the level of a 'god' an ideal and idol that must be achieved.
How can we identify with the tenants? We understand them. They want only to own what they have worked so hard to achieve. Perhaps similar to colonists who work and develop a land and then desire to make it their own. Oversimplification? yes, perhaps but if we really look at the tenants, their desire is our own. It is all about ownership; to have stock in and gain the profits from our work. And we call them "wicked tenants" because their desires led to violence and violence soon led to death, just like in our world. No matter how I look at it, it does seem that they are us and we are they.