The London Institute for Contemporary Christianity

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The new Hunger Games points to an ongoing battle inside all of us

This November, The Hunger Games returned to our screens with the release of The Ballad of Songbird and Snakes.

The story centres on a young Snow, 64 years before we last saw him, as a teenager and student mentor during the 10th Hunger Games. Much to his disappointment he is assigned the female tribute from District 12, Lucy Gray Baird. Despite being initially repelled by her, as they grow closer Snow finds himself drawn to her and, much to his dismay, falls in love with her  – eventually culminating in the star-crossed lovers leaving their lives and attempting to run away together.

The film follows his transition from a young man with aspirations of greatness, to a cold, calculated, and power-hungry figure. He longs to rise above his family’s diminished status; however, his self-serving ambition often puts him in situations where he must compromise his moral values, even when it negatively impacts those around him.

This inner turmoil marks Snow’s character arc as he battles between achieving personal success and upholding a sense of ethical integrity. Ultimately, even greater than his love for Lucy Gray is his desire for power and success – no matter the price others must pay for it – culminating in his betrayal of Lucy Gray. Inevitably, he must acknowledge the impossibility of accomplishing political and personal success and pursuing a future with the tribute from District 12.

Jesus tells us it’s impossible to serve two conflicting masters: you cannot love God and money. Like most of us, Snow does not just want money, but what the self-seeking desire for money represents – a lust for power, control, worldly security, and acclaim. We cannot make our own selfish desires or ambitions our top priority and continue to serve God faithfully. It is impossible to serve both.

Every single action we take is motivated by something. Whether that’s offering to make our colleague a cup of tea, giving our friend a lift to their appointment, or inviting someone sitting alone to join you for lunch. However big or small those actions may be, I, for one, long for them to be marked by love, empathy, kindness, and fuelled by an all-consuming love for Jesus.

Making God the true master of our hearts is a conscious, daily battle where we must ask ourselves: ‘what is the driving force behind my choices today – is this for me, or for God?’

Darby Vincent
Digital Lead, LICC

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