Steve's reflections on life

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The Posh & The Poor

A couple of weeks ago a storm of controversy blew up in Oxford as the local council resurfaced an upmarket section of a residential street, leaving the poorer part untouched. For many locals, who knew the history, it was a disturbing incident. Back in the 1930’s a building company put up a brick wall across the road to separate a new development from a council estate. Ironically the end of the resurfacing work carried out this summer fell on the spot where the wall once stood! Residents in the less affluent end of the street were waiting patiently for their section to be resurfaced too until the realisation dawned that the potholes were going to remain untouched.

A spokesman for Oxford District Services said the resurfacing work was purely based on need. Whatever the truth is about that new section of tarmac in Oxford, ending on the spot where the Cutteslowe Wall stood until 1959, it has an ironic ring to it for sure. Two years after that wall was finally demolished another wall was going up in Berlin that was much bigger but was equally successful in dividing up local residents, you may have heard of it!

Jesus encountered class divides wherever he went. People were drawn to him because his message was that God had not forgotten the poor and the downtrodden. For centuries, direct access to God was restricted to a chosen few under Jewish law but Jesus, through his life, death and resurrection brought in a whole new way of relating to God as Father. He removed the walls that kept the poor, the mistreated and the broken firmly in their place. Jesus was all about fairness, equality and justice. He said these words “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” So I guess we can assume from those words that God is still on our side, all of us!

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