There was a flavour of Jubilee as momentum and strength was drawn from a congregation of diversity committed to social, economic and environmental justice; committed to going upstream to exert pressure together for 'the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow'There's a well worn story with a variety of versions that takes place in a village on a river bank, this is one:
One summer in the village, the people in the town gathered for a picnic. As they leisurely shared food and conversation, someone noticed a baby in the river, struggling and crying. The baby was going to drown! Someone rushed to save the baby. Then, they noticed another screaming baby in the river, and they pulled that baby out. Soon, more babies were seen drowning in the river, and the towns people were pulling them out as fast as they could. It took great effort, and they began to organize their activities in order to save the babies as they came down the river. As everyone else was busy in the rescue efforts to save the babies, two of the townspeople started to run away along the shore of the river.Social justice means going upstream to stop whoever is throwing babies in the river.
"Where are you going?" shouted one of the rescuers. "We need you here to help us save these babies!"
"We are going upstream to stop whoever is throwing them in!"
It was interesting last week to be involved and to see the power of grassroots local politics rearing up in solidarity to exert pressure on politics through the power of accountability. I was at the AGM of London Citizens so was Mayor Boris Johnson having to fog his way through his election promises, there was no room to hide in London's Barbican Centre in front of 2000 people. With his promises of 15 months projected on the cinemaesque screen.
Bankers, lawyers and most significantly politicians were made to promise action and involvement on Living Wage, Responsible lending, Cap on interest rates together with Financial literacy and investment into local mutual banking. No fudging the issue 'will you promise to work with us?' No walking away from the podium without a handshake. Everything carefully minuted. All discreetly and cleverly orchestrated by Dr Luke Bretherton.This was kingdom stuff tackling the inequity of financial domination over the powerless within economic crisis. There was a flavour of Jubilee as momentum and strength was drawn from a congregation of diversity committed to social, economic and environmental justice; committed to going upstream to exert pressure together for 'the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow'.