Ebola, war, terrorism, injustice, inequality, squalid government, torture. Sometimes the inventory of cruelty and suffering seems overwhelming. The temptation to spiral into despair and the cynicism born of helplessness can assail us all. But sometimes a glimmer comes in the darkness and smallness no longer seems to equal futility.
The gap between very high incomes and low salaries has been widening for several years, says Laurent Schlumberger, president of the national council of the Reformed Church of France. Where governments and consumers are reluctant to act, there is still a moral imperative on high earners to refuse grossly unequal remuneration, he argues.
“Even the burial of his body in the Abbey was a species of theft when you come to think of it”. George Orwell's words came into my mind as I watched the ceremonies surrounding today's 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens.
The biblical theme of judgement confronts us with some tough issues, says Simon Barrow. But rightly understood it is about liberation not vindictiveness, and a reorientation which is economic as much as spiritual, political as much as religious.
Two Christian campaigners from Manchester have handed in a petition to 10 Downing Street at the close of the second week of their fortnight long protest camp in Parliament Square in London over the mistreatment of asylum seekers.