Greed and Skeksis

In Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal, an alien race known as the Fallen urSkeks are banished to the world of Thra. In an attempt to purify themselves, they try to use the heart of Thra, the Crystal of Truth, to cleanse themselves of their darker nature. Instead, each urSkek is split into two beings, the Mystics and the Skeksis.

While the Mystics embody the urSkek’s spiritual and peaceful side of their nature, the Skeksis embody their materialistic and violent side. The putrid creatures represent the very nature of greed itself. They hoard treasures for themselves, use the natives of Thra to fulfill their own pleasures, gluttonize upon the produce of their subjects, and defile the Crystal, draining its energy to extend their own life-forces. They trade the health of Thra and her creatures for their own. And when the Crystal is no longer enough, they then use it to drain the essence of Thra’s children, feasting upon Gelflings and Podlings like fattened cattle. The Skeksis only see Thra and her children as things to be used for themselves, easily casting them aside when they can no longer satisfy. And yet, the appetites of the Skeksis are never satisfied, for they crave more and more.

The leech has two daughters:
    Give and Give.
Three things are never satisfied;
    four never say, “Enough”:
 Sheol, the barren womb,
    the land never satisfied with water,
    and the fire that never says, “Enough” (Proverbs 30:15-16).

Watching the Skeksis eat is disgusting. The way that the Skeksis look and act is disgusting. For greed itself is disgusting. Therefore church, let us not be disgusting. For when we give into our own desires more than our fellow man, we act like these very beasts.

Yes, we live in trying times, but let us not lose our compassion in them. Yes, masks may not be comfortable, but instead of protesting, let us cherish our elderly and our sick. Yes, it stinks that we, for the moment, cannot meet in large numbers, but let us not yet gather in large crowds so that others may stay well. Yes, the government is not perfect, but let us not rise up against it, for we are told to submit to those in authority (Romans 14:1-4).

Church, just as Paul gave up his rights for the good of the Gospel (1 Corinthians 9), so too should we serve our fellow man. We are not called to lord over them and to force our morals upon them, nor to think about ourselves more than others, but instead to love and to serve them, just as our Lord and Master lived to love and serve us (John 13:1-17). Therefore church, if our Savior and his apostles lived to serve, should we not do the same?

The Skesis are the perfect image of beings that give into their greed. Let us not be like these putrid beasts. Instead church, let us be willing to love our neighbors, to love our enemies, to pray for those who persecute us, to look after widows and orphans, to share the Gospel, and to pick up the towel during these trying times.

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