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Poverty, injustice and suffering are unacceptable.

Something to read

My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

- 1 Corinthians 2:4-5 (from full reading 1 Corinthians 2:1-5).

Something to think about

In the opening chapters of his first letter to the Corinthians, Paul tells his readers that the wisdom of the world has been turned upside-down.

‘For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.’ (1 Cor 1:18).

By the world’s standards, Jesus was a failure – surely no saviour worth the name would end up suffering the humiliation of death on a cross! Worldly wisdom would suggest that the story should end there, but God had other plans.

When Christian Aid says, ‘We believe in life before death’ we are rejecting the conventional wisdom that says we just have to accept poverty, injustice and suffering.

Human wisdom says that life is unfair, unjust and that there is nothing we can do about it. If we accept that, then nothing ever changes. Human wisdom said that there could never be peaceful solutions to apartheid or the troubles in Northern Ireland.

Change came because people dared to hope that things could be better. Human wisdom says that poverty and injustice are facts of life and can never be overcome. The wisdom of God says otherwise.

Something to do

Read our reflection on sending prayer boats to COP26 in Glasgow last year.

Something to pray

O God,who destroys the wisdom of the wise, turn us away from cynicism and restore in us a spirit of optimism and hope. May our faith rest not on human wisdom but on your saving power. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Today’s contributor is Tim Burdon, Christian Aid’s Regional Coordinator for County Durham and Redcar and Cleveland at the time of writing.