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June 17th

There is a small slip of paper blu-tacked to the tiles on my kitchen wall. It’s been there for three years or more. It came home in my pocket after clearing up at Tyndale when during a service we were asked to write what we wanted to pray for on a piece of paper and put it on a table at the front. It used to have three words on it, not written in my hand, but over time the sun has faded them to nothing. I leave it there to remind me what those words were: “Remember the poor”.

The majority of humankind don’t have the barest essentials. For them, the quality of life most of us Westerners enjoy is light years away. They don’t sit in restaurants pondering the menu; pluck items willy-nilly off supermarket shelves with no thought; sweep food off their plate to feed the birds; or other such luxury. And too many in Britain are like them, happy merely to have something to eat at all. Christ calls us all to bring good news to the poor, and that means action.

No expense is spared building emergency hospitals; deploying troops; propping up the economy; paying tracing trackers to do nothing most of the time; but food in children’s stomachs seems not to be a priority, not worth the expense. Jesus said “The poor are always with you”… and they always will be while mealy-mouthed platitudes pass for compassion, and those with power refuse to ensure our poorest can feed their children, and only undertake their responsibility after public pressure. “And a young footballer shall lead them.”

David Bell