Yesterday marked 80 years since a 6 man Jewish delegation team went to meet Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and plea for his help in rescuing Jewish children from the Nazis. This was the start of Kinder-transport when Britain saved 10,000 Jewish children. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “the message of embrace the stranger is such a strong and powerful message and it is right to give thanks and remember all those who rescued the children”. Sadly today there are many children who still need rescuing from difficult situations; children needing asylum, children who need to be given hope and support through illness, disability, those in the middle of family bereavement or financial hardship.
Today is BBC Children in Need, since 1980 this BBC charity has raised over 950 million for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK. This morning I will be joining the children at Aughton Christ Church as they model our school value ‘compassion’ donating money in exchange for wearing their own clothes and displaying their mad and wild hair styles. A day like today enables us to see the best of humanity as people give their spare time and money to help strangers in need. Being aware of others needs and showing compassion is something we are all capable of no matter what our background or religion.
At a recent ‘Girlie Night In’ event, a representative from CAP (Christians Against Poverty) spoke about their vision to bring freedom and good news to the poor in every community. Hearing one of the debt free clients describe the moment the CAP worker came to their home, as ‘hope walking through their front door’ was a humbling experience.
As we approach the season of Advent we are reminded that the birth of Jesus brought HOPE to a world in despair. In Jesus we can have hope in our future that he will accept us and redeem us. We can have hope in the present knowing that we are not alone and hope in our past, knowing that our failures are not greater than God’s power to transform. Throughout his ministry, Jesus listened to people who were on the margins of society. He made visible those who were overlooked, and gave them hope.
Today many of us no doubt will ‘Do our thing’ to support BBC Children in Need, but perhaps we should also be willing to give Hope (Jesus) a chance to make a difference in our own lives. If you are finding it difficult to find hope why not come along to Christ Church Aughton from Friday 23rd November – Monday 26th November 9am – 9pm. Here you will find church open and six reflections that might help you to discover God’s love and the treasure of hope that He is longing to give to you.