Blessed are the poor who have nothing to own

— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —

William Wilberforce, another of my heroes of the faith, fought against all odds for over twenty years in late 18th-century England to abolish slavery and died just three days after the bill finally passed in Parliament, ending slavery in the British Empire. I always was and remain deeply impressed by this man, who was supposedly small in stature, but huge in his vision and who achieved so much and was completely resolute in his commitment against slavery. Wilberforce’s vision was a direct extension of his Christian faith and he repeatedly challenged others to face the evil truths about the slave trade.

“You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”
(Abolition speech, 12 May 1789).

Recently, I felt that I too had to decide whether to look away when I began to learn about the work of IJM (International Justice Mission) and their fight against modern slavery. I learned that there are currently over 40 million slaves in the world today – this includes victims of slave labour, sex trafficking, forced marriage and other types of enslavement. This is a staggering figure which blatantly contradicts all our notions about fair living and the eventual triumph of democracy over tyranny. As I have become more involved as a volunteer with IJM, I have also had to learn to focus on the success stories of adults and children being rescued and given a safe place to live, rather than on the overwhelming statistics of exploitation and misery. We know that part of Jesus’ mission on earth was to set the captives free, we know that His heart was very much with the poor and the downtrodden and he compassionately came alongside those who were in distress and in mourning.

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
    because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
    and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18

Here is a song which reflects the heart of God and His love for the disadvantaged, the forgotten, those who have nothing.

Blessed are the poor who have nothing to own
Blessed are the mourners who are crying alone
Blessed are the guilty who have nowhere to go

For their hearts have a road to the kingdom of God
And their souls are the songs of the kingdom of God
And they will find a refuge for theirs is the kingdom of God

(Kingdom of God by Jon Guerra)

Dear Lord,

Help us to be mindful of the many people living in oppression and slavery today.
May we do our part in seeking more justice in this world and in sharing our abundant resources with the poor.

In Jesus name, Amen

The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.

Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.

We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.

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