‘Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
The words above come from Psalm 46. They are a response to several realities that the Psalmist outlines in earlier verses; not least that “nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall”. We might not describe the outcome of our General Election in quite such graphic terms, but words like “landslide” and “unprecedented” have been regularly coined, particularly in response to the results from Scotland. Many are bearing testimony to the fact that this is not an outcome they expected.
The most immediate consequences are the defeats and resignations of many high profile figures in our political life. We should not forget the human reality of this, giving thanks God for their service and praying for them as they now come to terms with disappointment and uncertainty. We can be thankful too that we live in a nation whose political identity is determined through the ballot box and not bullets.
The outcome of this election will no doubt polarise a good deal of political opinion and indeed national identity. As we engage with this reality, we might remember that Jesus pronounces God’s blessing on those who seek to be peacemakers. We pray for stability and harmony, not only in our political life, but within our communities and society as a whole.
Our Scriptures offer us a helpful perspective at moments like this. We are encouraged to pray for and respect those who hold authority and public office, but are reminded too that their incumbency is fleeting compared to God’s eternal reign and rule. As the dust settles on what has been an intriguing campaign, the call to be still, to reflect and to embrace afresh our identity in Christ is a significant starting place for the journey ahead.
Let us pray together:
For those who are now taking political office, that in serving our communities and national life -truth, justice, peace and wellbeing might become priorities for all.
For those for whom these results mean significant change – that they might find grace and wisdom for the way ahead.
That those with leadership and influence will act wisely and in the interests of all people -seeking stability and justice for our world.
That as Christian citizens in society, regardless of whether we currently face the prospect with relish or trepidation, we will have wisdom and courage to seek God’s Kingdom and pursue his purpose in the emerging political landscape.
For those whose Christian identity has inspired them to serve in public life – that they might act as faithful followers of Jesus in every circumstance they face.