I just read a wonderful article by Bishop Sandra Steiner Bell in the March 22nd issue of the UNITED METHODIST REPORTER. Entitled “Faith in Christ calls us to seek justice, end poverty,” the piece uses child poverty statistics in West Virginia to introduce the larger issue of people of faith working toward peace and justice.
The good bishop states that believers are responsible for leading works of charity and justice that will alleviate the injustice that fills our world. In her words, “This is the body of Christ engaged in action that creates structural change in society to reduce and eliminate poverty.”
The bishop points out that there is no “purely spiritual answer to the pain of the poor.” Amen! We have to take action if we are to achieve a world where justice reigns. Faith, advocacy and action on behalf of the poor and hungry are all necessary ingredients in achieving justice.
She quotes the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr who once said:
The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization…The time has come to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.
We need to thank this enlightened episcopal leader for her call to action. Again, in her words, “As the people of faith, may we be bold!”