“I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them:
1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy
2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against, and
3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.”
John Wesley, October 6, 1774
For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to write something about faith and the election. I’ve prayed, I’ve turned to scripture, I have wondered who on earth Jesus would vote for given the available options. Christian organisations have given their advice, the Archbishops reminded us of the gift of truth and to be people of hope.
Still, I find myself struggling to know what to say, what to tweet, what to preach. How do I calm those incensed at others’ political views (especially when I agree with them)? How do I respond to those who have seemingly forgotten the gospel in their outspoken choices? How can I preach a message that will encourage all to look within the depths of their own hearts and to seek to vote with the most vulnerable in mind, when I too am at times a seething pit of rage? My emotions have gone through anger, frustration, sadness, apathy, and so much more. I’ve no idea who to vote for in good conscience and based on the options where I live.
I put this spoken word piece together for local radio a few weeks back (here in a slightly edited version) and I guess it’s the best I have to offer… ( for info, I’ve left in the scripture references but obviously it’s meant to be read out loud without them!)
Manifesto for humanity
If Jesus were standing in the polling station booth, contemplating names, pencil in hand
I wonder, what would he look for? which way would he swing? What would be his wish for this green and pleasant land?
Digging into scripture this is what I find
– lessons for us all, to live in his family design,
Divine guidance offered in love, to be all that God intended, for ourselves, our esteemed leaders, influencers and celebs
From the handbook of the holy these words flow and ebb:
Seek wisdom as your treasure (Proverbs 4:5-8), a pure and loving gift bringing peace, mercy, and consideration
Let your tongue speak what is just (Psalm 37:30), each word that falls from your mouth seasoned with graceful filtration (Colossians 3:17)
Be a builder of sturdy pillars, buttressed by the truth – not falling for phony quote, nor tossed in the wave of fake news & counterfeit opinion (1 Tim 3:15)
But love one another, love your neighbour, love your enemy, love yourself, love those you protest, even the citizens of opposed dominion. (Mark 12.31, Matt 5:44 and others)
Instead of banking gilded provision in lavishly styled barns,
Put others needs before your own and, to the least of all give open handed alms (Matt 25:45/ Luke 12:33)
So, with two stripes of graphite draw your concluded cross with heavenly translation
Allowing it to reflect the meaning of THE cross, and its immortal incarnation.
In fact it’s really rather simple, God’s made it plain how we should live in a one line manifesto that is totally unflawed:
and walk humbly with your Lord. (Micah 6:8)