Thought For The Week September 17
Once again it is election season. Once again we have parties and candidates selling us their vision of a better New Zealand and a better world. Each one will assure you that they have the only right and true answer to our woes. Each one will assure you that the other lot are misguided and incompetent.
As followers of Christ we can only pray that God’s kingdom come, God’s will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Even the act of praying those words reveals the truth – our hope as humanity comes not from the political powers that be, but through the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
So how then should we vote, as Christians? Curiously, Jesus and the early church do not directly confront the political injustices of the day. Jesus said, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and give to God what is God’s.” Paul sent Onesimus, the runaway slave, back to his master Philemon. Rather than choosing one side or another, the New Testament consistently challenges us to re-shape our lives around the greatest commandments: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
When Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan, the teacher of the law asked “Who is my neighbour?” Perhaps we need to ask that question again. Is my neighbour the one who lives on my street, or the one who lives on the other side of the tracks? Perhaps these commandments and this question can guide us in our voting this year.