Did any one go to or later read Justin Welby’s Christmas Day sermon ? It was hugely relevant to the MapGap.org campaign, even though many in Global MapAid and it’s MapGap.org are not professing Christians – there is great overlap.
Justin is an ex-oil industry executive and therefore knows how capitalism can be useful – and presumably he has experienced some of it’s faults too.
He has an obvious passion for “doing the right thing” by all human beings, so it felt right for me, Rupert, to visit Lambeth Palace today and give him a present and Christmas card with letter in the name of MapGap.org
John, the gate-keeper let me in and I signed the letter to Justin, on the clean and dry floor of the courtyard, before thanking John and leaving. He was too shy to allow his photo to be taken.
I felt like a pilgrim, or a Hobbit on a journey, being allowed through the big old Lambeth Palace Gate Door.
Christmas Day Sermon
This part of Justin Welby’s sermon on Christmas Day particularly moved me, the text within brackets are mine:-
“On Saturday (December 21st) I was speaking to a Bishop under siege, in a compound full of the dying (in Sudan). God’s passionate love for the vulnerable is found in the baby in a manger in a country at war. If that was His home, today it must be our care.
We see injustices at home. Even in a recovering (UK) economy, Christians, the servants of a vulnerable and poor Saviour, need to act to serve and love the poor: they need also to challenge the causes of poverty. Prospect magazine had a poll this month that suggested the church is more trusted on politics than religion.
But the two cannot be separated. Christ’s birth is not politics, it is love expressed. Our response is not political, but love delivered in hope. The action of the churches in the last five years is extraordinary, reaching out in ways not seen since 1945. Yet no society can be content where misery and want exist, unless through our love collectively we also challenge the greed and selfishness behind it.
We will speak and act best when we are caught up in following the vulnerable God as His disciples in His way. Then His love fills us, His compassion drives us on, compassion for every person, at every point of life or wealth or power. When individual Christians and the church together believe, and act on that belief, every human attitude is challenged, especially about the poor, and the world changes.”
The Union Jack
After Lambeth Palace I walked across Lambeth Bridge to the Houses of Parliament. The Union Jack was flying over a nearby building; it looked rather beautiful, high up in the cold sun.