As I drive around Bromley I notice the vigorous blooming of flowers and blossom brightening our lives. A wonderful display of pale almost bridal-like petals interspersed with the vibrant red and yellows of early tulips mingling with a wonderful display of daffodils. Little grape-hyacinths also clamour their way into the scene; small but gathered together making a huge impact too. May has arrived.
We can tell that too by the array of posters and banners that have appeared in recent weeks, for a well as creation singing out “spring has come” we are also in the middle of an Election; May has most certainly arrived.
It has long been part of the Reformed Tradition that engagement with the wider world is part and parcel of our Christian faith. Although Luther advocated a two-sphere understanding with the separation of spiritual and secular realms it has been part of the Reformed Tradition’s DNA to advocate transformationalism; our duty in the world is to try and make things as good as they can be, “that Christian faith is based on actions which respond to the spiritual needs and economic and social rights of all people in society” (World Council of Reformed Churches). In other words to work towards “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven”. Historically Reformed Christians have been involved in all spheres of life including all the main political parties.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said: “When people say that the Bible and politics don’t mix, I ask them which Bible they are reading.” Our Christian faith is woven through with a concern for justice, peace and the integrity of creation. We seek to answer questions such as how immigrants should be treated, whether a nation should go to war and how we are stewards of the environment. These are issues for living our discipleship today as they were when the Bible was written. Of course, the Bible doesn’t tell Christians which party to vote for. Christians can be united in a common faith but have different ideas about how politics can best serve the common good. The weeks leading up to polling day are a chance for us all to scrutinise ideas and ask questions before making a decision about who we want to lead us for the next five years. Moreover, once elected we must remember to pray for them too, whoever wins.