Friday 26th June – Chris Turk
“I am God. I have called you to live right and well. I have taken responsibility for you, kept you safe. I have set you among my people to bind them to me, and provided you as a lighthouse to the nations” Isaiah 42:6-7 MSG
During the Zoom service on Sunday Don reminded us that we need sometimes to look away from our own needs to those of the wider world.
A couple of weeks ago, I was reading the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lent Book “Saying Yes To Life”, written by Ruth Valerio from A Rocha (I did start it in Lent!) and was shocked to read “Tearfund’s report … showed that one person dies every 30 seconds in the developing world from diseases caused by plastic pollution and other rubbish”.
Ruth goes on to say “The people of God are called to live lives that demonstrate justice, mercy and humility (eg Amos 8;4-7; Micah 6:8; Acts 4:32-37; James 5:1-6)”
As restrictions are eased, and some sort of normality returns to our lives, we should give thought to what our freedom means for other people and remember that our actions in England affect people in poorer parts of the world. Maybe we need to forego some freedoms for their sake. Ruth urges us to think carefully about what we buy, what it has cost the person who made/grew it and what we do with the waste afterwards. So, as you buy that cheap (or even expensive designer label) shirt, ask whether it was made with child labour, and when buying bananas ask if the farmer was paid enough to feed his family.
One good starting point is to buy Fair Trade whenever possible. (Colombian instant coffee from Aldi or Percol decaf from Sainsbury’s, and plastic-free Fair-Trade bananas from Sainsbury’s are my local choices!). It may cost slightly more, or even not taste quite so good, but it does ensure the makers and growers are treated fairly.
We may feel that we can’t make much difference, but remember the story of the “widow’s mite” and that God will use what we offer in ways we can’t imagine.