The Parish of St Michael and All Angels, Withyham

and All Saints, Blackham

East Sussex

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St Michael and All Angels, Withyham

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All Saints, Blackham


Letter from the Rectory June 2017

During the absence of James Campbell, and he tells us he is making steady progress, Elizabeth has leapt into the breech with:

"Vote for Jesus!”

All the manifestos have now been launched for the General Election on 8th June. Just think though if Jesus of Nazareth was up for election – what would his manifesto be like?

For a start his MPs would be widely representative of all society. After all, his original circle included people from the financial world, tradesmen, immigrants and even a member of a terrorist gang! His style would be walkabout and he'd make time to be with the powerless, voiceless and choiceless people in our very choice shaped society. He would also spend time with the powerful people – challenging them and looking for those who could see the new spirituality he was bringing in.

His manifesto would include total healthcare of body, mind and spirit – and a social system to support the weakest and most vulnerable. He'd use his manifesto as a check list – good news to the poor, sight to the blind, release for prisoners and freedom for the oppressed and even, perhaps, a debt cancellation programme to start off "the Day of Jubilee" – that would soon have all the credit card companies after his blood!

His communication skills would be second to none and as the master of the sound bite he'd have more bite than sound! (John Humphries would have met his match!). Jesus would ask very awkward questions: Who have the vested interests in how things are run? Who benefits from the system? What about social, economic and legal policies? And religion? If the first were last and the last were first – who would win? And who would lose? The hierarchy of the church would be in for a rough time. Jesus’ overall aim would be to create a God-shaped society – in other words to bring in the Kingdom of God.

But based on his earlier track record his popularity would be short-lived and his term of office would last no more than 3 years – probably ending in assassination or at least public humiliation by the media smear machine.

Of course this is all fantasy! Even if Jesus were offered the job, he wouldn't take it. That kind of political leadership was offered to him 2000 years ago and he turned it down. People wanted to make him king – he refused. His idea of king was very different from that of the people. He wouldn't fit their mould, but he was moulding another way – for he would carry a cross before wearing a crown – and his kingdom, the Kingdom of God , has lasted and grown over 2000 years and keeps on growing!!

Perhaps our political leaders should take note!

Every blessing,

Elizabeth Parish