As we look forward to another Christmas and the end of a very eventual year … the season of Advent (preparation, longing and praying) will have an additional flavour of a general election and Romans 13: 1 reminds us to “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.,”
The past three years have seen a real breakdown in community and relationships, between countries, families and friends. There has been an increase in the levels of hate crime and the shocking news that more than 60 members of parliament are standing down. They blame the pressure, the venom and the anger around Brexit. Some female Members of Parliament have aired their concerns about the level of abuse that have been subjected to over the past year.
(Has this level of aggression always been there and Brexit is being blamed as the vehicle which has brought it to the fore?)
We are approaching the time when Mary and Joseph were responding to the call from Caesar Augustus for a census. This was the first census for many years and the governor wanted to make sure that people were paying their taxes. The census required families to travel back to their places of birth to register. For Mary and Joseph it took days to make the journey and thankfully they arrived safely.
As we prepare for this Christmas and we reflect on the journeys which refuges and asylum seekers have made, let us recall the journey of Mary and Joseph. Sadly, in our context our minds may have been preoccupied with the election and its results.
However, as Christians, there is another ‘government’ which we respond to. God is calling us to a time of reflection, rest and renewal. Let us respond by slowing down, trying something different and enjoy the celebration of the coming King.
“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.” (Isaiah 9:6)
Rev Zaidie Orr, Sheffield Team Minister