The latest monthly letter from our Minister, Revd David Hookins.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
Do you remember the wrist bands that had the initials ‘WWJD’ standing for ‘What would Jesus do’? I am tempted to ask, ‘How would Jesus vote?’
We are days from voting in the general election, and many of us will simply vote for the same party we always have without looking at the manifesto or considering the policies. I think that Jesus would have us be more discerning than that.
Writing from prison to the church society in Philippi Paul says, ‘Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.’ (Philippians 2.3-4 NRSV)
I believe that most of our members of Parliament take on that role because they genuinely want to improve society. They may disagree about the best methods but there is a common commitment to doing the best for the country. Unfortunately, the interests of those who are like us, or those who support us often outweigh ‘the interest of others’.
Our party political system tends to polarize people rather than draw them together, tends to fragment rather than unite. This is then reflected in our society. Paul calls on the Philippians to be united and so to, ‘Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus…’ (Philippians 2.5 NRSV)
As critical friends of our society, or salt and light as Jesus puts it, we should be questioning and challenging our political representatives, engaging in political debate, not as party loyalists but as those who are seeking a better way for those who are the ‘others’ in our society.
I am always struck by the final verse in Charles Wesley’s hymn, ‘Christ, from whom all blessings flow’,
‘Love, like death, has all destroyed,
Rendered all distinctions void;
Names and sects and parties fall:
Thou, O Christ art all in all.’ (Singing the Faith 676)
Your brother in Christ,