Matthew 25:35-40    New International Version
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’  “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Gracious God, as Human Rights Day is marked internationally today, as initiated by the United Nations, we acknowledge that sadly, we live in a world where not all people are treated equally and fairly, where not everyone is afforded the freedom to live without oppression, where not everyone has the opportunity for an education or the right to work. Amidst the pandemic, we have witnessed inequalities relating to the vaccination programme and healthcare. We have seen the plight of those desperately seeking a safe place to call home. We have witnessed the suffering of those experiencing human trafficking and slavery. Lord God, in sending Your Son into the world, You made Your values very clear; those of equality, justice, compassion and freedom for all. And so we pray that as communities we seek to fulfil Your values. Although we may not be in a position to change things on the world stage, give us the courage and the confidence to do what we can for those around us in our local communities. As a Church, help us to stand up and preach the truth of Your Son Jesus Christ so that His presence may be felt in the lives of all people. May the power of Your Holy Spirit sweep across our world, for in the power of Your name we pray, Amen.