At Christmas many celebrate the fact that Jesus was born into a poor family because the message of the Kingdom of God was directed towards the poor. Yet it has become difficult to focus on the poverty associated with the birth of this baby, because Christmas has become a time when we are bombarded with images of affluence and abundance. The historical poverty and oppression surrounding this celebrated birth doesn’t quite fit in with what we’ve made Christmas to be. It is challenging but true that this baby was born into and chose to live a life of poverty. His birth was and is a powerful demonstration of God's bias towards the poor.
The UK is the world’s fifth largest economy, it contains many areas of immense wealth, its capital is a leading centre of global finance, its entrepreneurs are innovative and agile and it has a system of government that rightly remains the envy of much of the world. It thus seems patently unjust that so many people are living in poverty. This is obvious to anyone who opens their eyes to see the immense growth in foodbanks and the queues waiting outside them, the people sleeping rough in the streets and the growth of homelessness.
This Christmas in the UK 14 million people, a fifth of the population, live in poverty. Four million of these are more than 50% below the poverty line, and 1.5 million are destitute, unable to afford basic essentials.
These are all reasons why I support Jubilee+, an organisation with a vision to see the Church in the UK be a champion of the poor, care most effectively for older people and support those suffering from addictions.
Caring for and empowering those in need, speaking up on behalf of the voiceless matters more today than for many years.
Please support Jubilee+ this Christmas. jubilee-plus.org