Advent: a time of hope
25 November 2019 IN: Bishop
Advent is the season of hope - the time of year when we look forward to celebrate both the first coming of Jesus into the world and the promise that he will establish his kingdom “on earth as it is in heaven”. This year, in the midst of a General Election campaign, it’s also a time of worry and fear for many. So my prayer is that we set fear aside and cast our ballots this December in hope.
We vote directly for an individual MP. Unless they are already in Parliament we may not know much about them, and we should not be too eager to believe the mud their opponents throw at them. But we can form a view as to their integrity. Is this a person I would trust, and whom I can realistically hope would keep the promises they make during the campaign?
Indirectly, we are also voting for a government. We expect the person we elect to support the leader of their party to be the next Prime Minister, and to implement their manifesto commitments. While the issue of Brexit may influence how we cast our vote, this is not a referendum on one issue. Our hope for a new government should lie in its full programme for leading our nation over the coming years. We will be trusting it to create a framework for Britain to flourish and prosper; to support the poor and needy; to care for the sick; to combat racism, prejudice and injustice (so that all feel fully a part of our richly diverse society) and to manage our relations with international partners. That’s a lot to hope for, but Advent remains a time of hope.