Archbishop Justin Welby issued a New Year message on his blog, focused on poverty. Here’s an excerpt:
Whenever Christians speak out on issues of poverty or social issues of all kinds, we always get letter saying ‘Why don’t you just talk about God and stop getting muddled up in other subjects?’
When I go to my bible and think, okay, what’s God saying and how do I talk more about God and get closer to God, and encourage other people to get closer to God, the thing I find is that God says: Love me, and show you love me by loving your neighbour. And if you love your neighbour you’re going to be deeply concerned in the things that trouble them, whether it’s about heating bills, whether it’s about insecurity in families and the need for good community life.
The church is involved in those because we want to demonstrate that we have freely received the love of God and we want to share that with others. It’s not about politics, it’s about love.
I know it’s the New Year, and I don’t want to sound like scrooge, but I never make New Year resolutions, I’m just hopeless at them. It’s not that they aren’t a very good thing, it’s just that I know I’m not going to keep them, and I have this vague sense that there’s no point in doing them.
Except there’s one I want to think about this year. I want to suggest this year that each of us makes a resolution to try and change the world a bit where we are.
Nelson Mandela said that dealing with poverty is not an act of charity, it’s an act of justice. He said every generation has the chance to be a great generation, and we can be that great generation.