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Shameful legacy

"I ask that out of the riches of His glory He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Then you, being rooted and grounded in love, will have power..." Ephesians 3. 16-18

More in the news today about the injustices perpetrated on the "Windrush generation". If nothing else, these strange times are eliciting much poison out of society which, if unedifying, nevertheless presents the opportunity to address the problem, learn what we can and make what reparations seem appropriate. Today is also 'Elimination of Violence Against Women Day'. Around the world, three quarters of all those currently in slavery are women and three quarters of those have been sexually abused. Those statistics stack up alongside others which surely prove the sickness of our global community.

But we should be careful before rushing to the conclusion that we are altogether helpless and need a Saviour. It is true that human beings are inherently sinful and thereby separated from God and at odds with one another. At that level we do need a Saviour and, praise God, we have one. But we also have the law: those moral and legal parameters which have the potential to curtail bad behaviour, even if it cannot address the sinfulness of our hearts.

If we are serious about getting to grips with the problems that beset us, we need to work on both fronts. How can we expect God to address the problems we cannot solve for ourselves, if we are not straining every sinew to deal with those we can? This is not "salvation by works", it is about being salt and light. Let us make it our business to light up the darkness, exposing evil wherever it lurks and then, where we can, apply the medicines of justice, reconciliation, financial support, whatever it takes. Such gestures will not save our souls but they will alleviate suffering and they are the evidence of that deeper work in the heart of a believer which only Christ can do.



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