My article for the December Crossways newsletter for St Paul’s Church Spennymoor and Whitworth Church.
Yes, that’s right. It’s still November as I write this, but I’m about to reveal the name of the new Prime Minister. Many people don’t realise it, but the monarch has already asked someone to be Prime Minister and to rule over the whole kingdom.
When did this happen? And who is it?
It happened a long time ago. He was always destined for it. Even before he was born, a messenger went to his mother and told her. She was told that her son was going to be the Prime Minister!
Then, when her son was born, some labourers were working a night-shift somewhere in the countryside. A messenger found them and told them the news. They were told about this newborn baby who was destined to be Prime Minister.
At first, the people rejected him. They didn’t want him to be their Prime Minister! But the monarch had other ideas, and asked him to be Prime Minister anyway.
Boris Johnson, right? Not so fast. I’ll give you a clue. His initials are JC. Jeremy Corbyn? No, wrong again.
The Prime Minister is … Jesus Christ! His mother was Mary, he was born in Bethlehem, and the shepherds were told the good news. The people rejected him and had him executed. But God, the world’s true monarch, brought him back from the dead, took him up into heaven, and gave him authority over the whole world.
Our preparations for Christmas this year are being interrupted by the general election. We are preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus, the world’s true ruler. Does the coming of Jesus change how we think about the election?
The coming of Jesus means the election is not the most important thing. Jesus is the true Prime Minister. The United Kingdom, the European Union … one day these will all be swallowed up by the kingdom of God. So it’s not something to get too worked up about. Christians may disagree about politics, but we should never fall out over it. Jesus is the ruler of the whole world, and that’s the most important thing.
But the coming of Jesus also helps us decide how to vote. One day, Jesus will return to transform the world into his eternal kingdom. So the role of our politicians (and our role in every area of life) is to give everybody a taste of the kingdom of God. So, out with the politics of anger, fear, despair and division! And in with the politics of love, hope, joy and peace!
Joy to the world! The Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare him room,
And heaven and nature sing.