On a cold September evening, in the city of Madrid, to a fanfare of trumpets and cheering crowds, a huge black bull steps nervously onto the sands of the Plaza De Toros Monumental. Magnificently dressed matadors and picadors swirl their brightly coloured cloaks to attract the proud creature, but to no effect. The crowd grows restless and prods are applied to goad the animal to life. Eventually it charges at the nearest enemy and the whole macabre theatre unfolds with jabs and stabs that weaken the bull and draw him closer to the final act. Just before the Coup de Gras this forlorn creature bows its head to smell the bright red blood, his blood, shed for the amusement of the rich. It was not a fair fight.
In an economically cold and financially pinched Britain, another group are addressed with a fanfare of conferences and the blasts of politician’s rhetoric – they are the poor. Sadly, more are reluctantly joining their ranks, stepping nervously into a world with only jabs and energy sapping rejection. Crowds roar on the professionals but much of the rhetoric is a load of bull.
Step forward the church "to loose the chains of injustice", to embody Jesus Christ by doing what He did and continued to do in the early church. "There were no needy persons among them." says Acts 4:34. Rodney Stark in ‘Rise of Christianity’ observes that the explosive growth of the church came from its engagement with those who were suffering and impoverished.
God forbid that we stand safely in a crowd and chant and point and applaud the professionals yet mock the poor, who are bleeding in the sands of our arena. With eyes of faith, let us seek to help, rescue, and empower those in our community that are struggling. God has chosen the poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom He promised to those who love Him (James 2:5). Church arise! It is our time to not only speak but to act with compassion, and reject the bull!