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A reading and a reflection to start the day, with the Rev Dr Craig Gardiner, a tutor at South Wales Baptist College.

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2 minutes

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Last Wednesday 05:43


Good morning. When Martin Luther King was born on this day in 1929, few of us could have imagined that he would go on to inspire a generation with dreams of a world free of racism. But what’s not so often remembered is his work to overcome poverty. Dr. King was inspired by the teaching of Biblical prophets, like Amos, Micah and Isaiah, who themselves pulled no punches, condemning the economic injustice of their time. Critics might argue that Jesus was more ambiguous on the matter. After all, didn’t he once say, that the poor would be with us always.’ Well, yes, he did, but when he said it his words were only quoting the first half of a bible verse that those present would have known well. Deuteronomy 15.11 actually says, There will always be poor people on the earth. Therefore, I command you open your hand to the poor and the needy neighbour in your land  Jesus only needed half the line for the people to recognize what they should do. 
Dr. King tried to make his own response to Jesus’ words – campaigning for a reasonable minimum income for everyone in America.  His critics said it was impossible and maybe they were right. Certainly, that part of his dream never came to pass. 
But I believe that prophets like Amos, Micah and indeed like Dr. King remain relevant, not necessarily because they are successful, but because like Jesus they remind us that personally and as a nation, our accomplishments are not best measured by our wealth, but by how well we care for the poorest people living among us. God of abundanceBless us todayWith a richness of generosityAnd a wealth of imaginationThat we might become dreamers of justiceAnd prophets of change.Amen