Love God, love neighbour
6 April 2011 - The Archbishop's Fifth Lent Reflection follows...
Christian Aid Donation
It can be a challenging task to love your neighbour – you could argue it depends on who that neighbour might be! Love of the neighbour can be shown by the way someone lives; by a combination of efforts we undertake to meet those human needs; and by attempts to change the structures of society for the benefit of everyone.
Let me give you an example.... Three Christian men at the University of Oxford: William Beveridge, Richard Tawney and William Temple, were challenged to go to the East End of London to "find friends among the poor, as well as finding out what poverty is and what can be done about it".
In the East End their consciences were pricked by poverty. After university, Tawney worked at Toynbee Hall. William Beveridge paved the way for the Welfare State in his report which set out to show how Christian ethics could benefit a whole nation. And William Temple, as Archbishop of York, and then Canterbury, mobilized the church support for a more just and equal Britain. His book Christianity and Social Order is one of the foundation pillars of the welfare state as we know it today.
I believe that every man and woman is made in God's image and each is of equal worth in His sight. Our society is built around being enterprising and creative, but it must also allow individuals to flourish. Christian Aid's vision to end poverty outlines that we must collaborate in order to bring about change on a greater scale than is possible through individual effort alone. It asks us to recognise that "we're all in this together", but it requires effort on our part to engage with others around us.
As Mother Teresa said: "Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love."
Visit Christian Aid's website or read the report on 'Poverty We're all in this Together'
"Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which thou hast given us; for all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for us. O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother, may we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly; for thine own sake. Amen" (St Richard of Chichester, 1197-1253)