Caroline Virgo reviews Bishop Alistair Redfern's latest book, Slavery & Salvation and recommends its use for Advent
In these times of Covid, we cannot always meet for communal worship, and that which is so essential to our faith can give way to fear. Sadly, we are not able to meet together for fellowship and this also reduces the opportunity of encountering the stranger among us. As the stranger is hidden, what effect will that have on our care for her?
In chapter 10 of his book, Slavery and Salvation , Bishop Alastair Redfern draws our attention to the fact that the good news of Jesus Christ begins in people’s lives with an encounter - the action of God through others. He reminds us that throughout the Gospels this leads individual souls to a ‘new seeing’ encapsulated in the witness of the man born blind.
The strapline of The Clewer Initiative is ‘We see you’ – a phrase that not only reflects the challenge of identifying the slave among us but also the profound ‘seeing’ of Jesus when he actively reaches into hearts of me and ‘mercies’ them.
There is a call for a renewed missionary endeavour in this book as it refocuses our attention on those who are currently hidden from sight. At the end of each chapter, there are discussion questions, making this an excellent study guide for advent. It will help those interested in thinking about the part the church can play in tackling vulnerability, exploitation and modern slavery. Through this book we can discover tangible ways in which the Christian Gospel becomes good news to the most unnoticed.