As I watch the news and read the newspapers I can’t help but feel a little distant from ‘real life.’
I know that there is a General Election campaign taking place and yet, I feel one step removed from it. I feel passionately about some of the big political issues and I get irritated by the diet of vacuous statements cooked up by the political spin doctors on behalf of their political masters: ‘fully costed’ is the most unpalatable of all entrees.
So why do I feel ‘passionately one step removed?’
It’s because I live in the normally safe conservative seat of Buckingham and, this year, my sitting M.P. is standing for re-election as Speaker of the House of Commons, under the catchy strap-line ‘Parliament’s speaker, Buckingham’s voice.’
By convention none of the major parties stands against the speaker so, my choice will be limited to The Speaker, UKIP and the Greens. Last time round ‘Blue Dolphin Man’ stood, but I don’t think he is planning a second bite of the cherry. Oh well.
I may, or may not vote (I probably will).
So I am finding the whole General Election experience deeply frustrating. It is as though I have an itch which I can’t scratch. But, perhaps my ‘Buckingham experience’ is a bit of a metaphor for Christian life?
We Christians are deeply embedded in our communities and, hopefully seek out ways to serve the community, but sometimes we feel slightly separated from community?
We have to live within the law, whilst experiencing some laws as unjust; and, this applies to cannon law as well as to secular law.
We inhabit this world, whilst praying each and everyday for the coming of another world: ‘thy kingdom come on earth as well as in heaven.’
We enjoy the good things of this world, but take care not to idolise them.
And we sit and watch, not quite on the sidelines, but not necessarily in the heat of things, observing undeliverable pain and harm.
And isn’t this part of the point, that we follow a Saviour who observed the world, passionately and prayerfully (Father forgive them…..) from a cross? But, we also follow a Saviour who rose again.
So what can we do whilst we sit and observe? Well we can feel passionately about people and the situations they find themselves in and, we can pray.
Passion and prayer even in the face of apparent powerlessness might be the only tools at our disposal.
But, they might be the only ones we need?