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Responding to an uncertain political climate

There’s a pattern in political history of stability and comfort, followed by a time of uncertainty leading to people seeking hope and finding it in extreme political voices. These voices often lead to marginalisation, oppression, and persecution. These voices often do not respect that we are all made in God’s image. We say, “That won’t happen to us, it can never happen here.” The world has gone through Covid and an economic crisis and those who have been forced to the bottom society have had enough. Trump is making a comeback, and extreme right-wing governments are being elected across the world. We have a government that has lied, has brought in anti-protest laws and is trying to usher in unwelcoming immigration laws.

Now I know that’s a bit of doom mongering, but it’s not untrue.


Jesus was born into a Jewish family under Roman rule, and soon after birth he had to flee from Herod’s decree to kill baby boys. He grew up around people who wanted freedom from the Romans, including those planning violent overthrow of the regime and praying for a politically radical Messiah to rescue them. Jesus knows what it’s like to live amongst people who want political change.


What did he do? Jesus defied expectation in the way he lived and died: he was the prince of peace, and the king of a peaceful kingdom, ushering in healing and hope. He recognised that not everyone would accept his peaceful kingdom and wept for the pain that was coming.As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace - but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” (Luke 19:41-44)


Not long ago, I was advised to read The Jewish War, by Josephus, I only got a few pages in because the amount of bloodshed made me feel sick. The Romans actually did what Jesus predicted and Jews were killed on Mount Masada, they that had been surrounded by Roman soldiers who built a rampart up to the desert fortress. There’s a monument still standing in Rome today celebrating their victory over the Jews, something harrowing to see considering the current political climate. Jesus wept for what the people that he came to save were going to go through, and for their rejection of the prince of peace. Then, when he was a victim of violence and his close friend tried to defend him with a sword, Jesus healed the wound he had caused and followed his Father to the cross. He gave his life to bring us peace and reconciliation between ourselves and God, and between each other.

The political situation today in the UK is different to Jesus' time, but it can still be unsettling. As Christians, it’s important that we engage with the situation we find ourselves in and respond with Christ’s actions. It is an act of mission. Not long ago I had a conversation with the Church of England representative to the UN, it was deeply encouraging to know that Christians have a voice in meetings discussing world issues, and that they, as our representatives, want to hear what we care about so they can be hold our voices in the places that can make a difference. Some are privileged to be in a place of power that enables them to make wise decisions - let’s be praying for them. If we are worrying about the political situation, let’s try to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. Let’s not bury our heads in the sand but remain aware of what’s going on around us, weeping and praying for what could come, and standing up for justice and peace where we are able to, and sharing the news of our good King. In the Spirit’s strength, let’s keep being the peace and reconciliation this world needs, choosing to serve and love where community is breaking down, trusting that Jesus is the prince of peace that we all need. Thank you for what you are already doing, keep going in the love of Christ.


Jo Allen

Rural Ministries

First published in MOSAIC Issue 12, January - April - December 2024


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