Tag Archives: General Election

Love Your Neighbour #GE2015

I am the archetypal floating voter.  Child of the sixties who has seen it all, well a lot of it.  Knowing that promises made in elections are soon broken; having lived the good and bad of many a government; lived in different parts of the country where different parties had the majority; having the privilege of getting to know some politicians and what they actually stand for.  I have, in my time, voted for many different parties, because I believe in people and communities.

I believe passionately in voting.  People suffered so that I could have the vote, and ultimately if I don’t vote I have no right to complain and no opportunity to change things.

Which brings me to this years General Election, but the same applies also to local elections, and the dilemma of how to vote.

I find myself living with the despair that a coalition didn’t bring a more measured and balance government, unlike my hope.  I find myself living day by day with the repercussions of one of this governments policies.  I am fed up of hearing ‘they will do this’, whilst never actually hearing what you are going to do – or how you are going to make your fanciful ideas work.

So the question remains, how to vote.

I’m not going to make any pontifications about that.  But I am grateful to the Joint Public Issues Team for their strapline and logo, which at the end of the day is the only thing that makes any sense – and what we will all have to answer to.

I am called to love my neighbour – as much at the ballot box as anywhere else.  My responsibility is to vote, not for my favourite, the one best before the cameras, the one with the sound-bites, or the party that will make my life better (or say they will) – but for the ones who truly work for the love of neighbour.

Now, if the politicians could just stop one upmanship and scaremongering and actually tell us what THEY are going to do, that would really help.

Oh and if you’re not registered to vote – do it, and if you are use it – for the love of your neighbour. Please.

Follow the leader

There is a story of a tourist who was travelling in the Middle East. He came upon several shepherds whose flocks had intermingled while drinking water from a brook. After an exchange of greetings, one of the shepherds turned toward the sheep and called out, “Manah. Manah. Manah.” (Manah means, “follow me” in Arabic.) Immediately his sheep separated themselves from the rest and followed him.

Then one of the two remaining shepherds called out, “Manah. Manah.” and his sheep left the common flock to follow him.  To look no one could tell the different flocks apart – but each sheep knew their own shepherds voice, and followed it.  They knew that was the one for them to follow.

The people crowd round Jesus, and demand to know, “Are you the Messiah”.  Jesus reminds them that he has told them this – but they haven’t heard him, they refused to believe.  For us, post-resurrection we have seen how the story all came together, but they did not have that, they couldn’t believe the things he was pointing them to.  Jesus tells them that the sheep know his voice, and he knows them.  The one’s who believe in him step out and follow him.  In doing that they will never be lost, no one can snatch them from him.

Sheep have a natural instinct to follow a leader to a new pasture, with a strong lead-follow tendency.  But they need a leader.

The reading from Revelation also declares that the lamb will be their shepherd.  He will lead them to streams of life-giving water.

Human beings need a leader.  Perhaps the upcoming General Election has brought that home to us.  We need someone to be making judgements on behalf of our country; leading us through economic and social decisions.  We can’t all go our own separate ways, we have to trust a leader.

Who, or even if, this country trusts to lead it has yet to be shown.  But God is one we can trust to lead us.

He knows us, and cares for us.  To God we are not just a number or someone to be persuaded to vote for him, we are loved, cherished and protected.  He will not lead us astray, but to green pastures.  His is the voice we can trust.  If we listen for it, we will hear him calling out us.  We will know his voice and can safely follow where he leads.

We must not be distracted by another voice, but follow him.  He will not leads up a dead-end, or into a barren field.  His way leads to eternal life – streams of life-giving water.

Listen for Gods voice – and follow him