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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

28 December 2011: David Bee, St Mary's, Buriton

Towards a more equal society

The recent Guardian/London School of Economics study, 'Reading the Riots', interviewed many of those who had rioted last August. It found that deprivation, absence of job opportunities and a sense of complete hopelessness about the future were significant factors among many of those who responded. This is not, in any way, to condone what they did, but it does help us to understand what prompted them to do it. The more unequal a society is, the sicker it is.

The Christmas season cruelly exposes the differences between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots' in society. Many people eat too much, drink too much, go to too many parties, receive more presents than they know what to do with; others are out of work, homeless, hungry, cold, and have lost hope. The contrast is most marked in our cities, but our area is not immune.

In God's kingdom there is no distinction between the 'haves' and the 'have-nots'; all are equal, all are special. We all have a place available at God's table, and we will probably be very surprised as to who is sitting at that table alongside us.

Wouldn't it be a better world if more of us were prepared to do our part in growing God's kingdom now; if those of us who 'have' were prepared to share more of our time, money and possessions with those who 'have not'?

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