This Sunday’s Gospel reading is Mark 10.17-30 (or 17-27)
Jesus looked round and said to his disciples, ‘How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God!’ They were more astonished than ever. ‘In that case,’ they said to one another, ‘who can be saved?’
The disciples have been taught that wealth is a sign of blessing from God. So they think that rich people – like the young man in this encounter – are among the closest to Him. If it is hard for the rich to enter the Kingdom, what hope is there for anyone else? Jesus sees the world very differently. While the good things of creation are a gift from God, the way they are shared out has more to do with our greed than God’s will. Poverty is a sign of human injustice, not of God’s displeasure. And so, as Jesus makes clear in many places, those whom the world neglects have a special place in God’s Kingdom.
The Living Wage Campaign brings people together from religious and civic groups, demanding that all workers receive a wage they can live on with dignity – not having to choose between having enough money and having enough time for their families. Its one practical way we can live out the values of God’s Kingdom. But low pay is just one part of a much bigger picture of economic injustice – including exploitative lending, and a lack of work and affordable housing. If we pray ‘your Kingdom come’, we cannot let these wrongs go on unchallenged.
Pray for churches in Citizens UK preparing to mark Living Wage week with prayer, thanksgiving and campaigning next month, and for the work being done by the Contextual Theology Centre to equip them. Pray also for the work done by the Church Urban Fund and its partners to deepen public understanding of the causes and consequences of poverty wages.