After thinking about it for a few weeks, here are some of the things that the gospel (the good news about who Jesus is and what he's done) has to say to the situation:
Inequality - the North/South divide
Fear - the need for security
Politics - look after your own voters
The answer? - is the grass greener?
Hartlepool is pictured as part of the decline of the North East. Another recent article suggested any attempts to reverse that decline are futile and the sensible option is to get out and put more money into areas that have a chance.
Whether that’s the right strategy or not, it often ends up happening anyway. Those who go to university rarely come back. People leave the area in search of jobs. Successful people may move on in search of a better quality of life. This is not always true, but it’s easy to build up a picture of Hartlepool and the North East being abandoned.
One thing is clear. Even if the money goes elsewhere, the jobs relocate and people move out - Jesus does not. Jesus left his perfect heavenly kingdom to come to Earth, which is a much greater drop in standards than Hampshire to Hartlepool. He made himself poor, weak and helpless for us. He has moved in, and He’s not moving out.
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 by his poverty might become rich.
2 Corinthians 8:9