Articles

From riches to rags

From riches to rags
Mark Richards Mark Richards is Pastor of Newtown Baptist Church, Chesham.
05 December, 2022 5 min read

There are great disparities in wealth in the world today. If you were to fill a minibus with the world’s richest men (and they are generally men), their wealth would equal that of the poorest half of the world’s population.

Wealthy people dominate our magazines and screens but, right now, most people in the UK are finding it hard to pay the bills. Many are dependent on government benefits and perhaps food banks or other charities. Though some people will spend thousands of pounds upon food, drink, and presents this Christmas, for others Christmas is a financial nightmare.

Still, in the eyes of billions of people in the world, we are almost all rich in the West. At least we’re rich materially. But surely, whoever we are, we recognise that it is possible to be rich materially and yet poor in other ways?

In a letter the apostle Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in Greece, there is a sentence that is especially relevant to us at this time. It summarises the Christian message in a simple and beautiful way. Paul writes, ‘For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich yet for your sake, he became poor so that you through his poverty might become rich’ (2 Corinthians 8:9). Let’s consider these amazing words.

He was impoverished so that we might be enriched. He came down to lift us up. He suffered so that we might have peace.
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