Letter from St Mark's House

St Mark's House

December 2019 - January 2020

 

Dear friends

Grace and Truth: two qualities that seem sadly lacking in the manner and content of much political debate; two qualities that were incarnated in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose coming into the world we celebrate at this Christmas season. In their open letter this week (quoted and adapted below) the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have reminded us that “as we approach this General Election, we also herald the season of Advent, the birth of Jesus Christ and the reminder of his return as our judge. In Christ’s birth God chooses to come and live among us, intervening in our imperfect world, and offering the hope of life reordered and restored. At his return he promises the setting right of all things. It is time to set aside apathy and cynicism and to be people of hope.”

While it is our democratic privilege and responsibility to vote, the issues confronting us are complex and confusing; helpful non-partisan information can be found at www.engaGE19.org.uk. Each of us is called to honour the truth, to seek it faithfully and speak it accurately, separating facts from opinion and, without antagonism, challenging and correcting falsehoods when we hear them. Each of us is called to relate with grace, showing mutual respect, notably on social media, praying for debates that seek to unite rather than divide, to bring us together and to rebuild trust in each other, in our institutions, and in our politics. 

“We should be thankful for those who put themselves forward for public service, facing huge responsibilities and challenges, and ask that they will seek the common good, because the outcome of the Election will affect us all. We call on all those standing for election to reject the language of prejudice and not to stoke stigma or hatred towards people on the grounds of their religion, culture, origin, identity or belief.” Through his birth in poverty, his actions and words and warning of judgement for those who seek only their own wellbeing, Jesus taught us that we need God’s grace to transform us, motivating our care for the poor, inspiring our love for our neighbours, and seeking that common good that truly benefits us all. Let us seek the wisdom and guidance of God, the source of all wisdom, who enables us as we wrestle to address the questions and challenges of our time and is authority and judge over all in our world, our nation and our politics. Above all, at this critical time, let us pray.

Looking forward to seeing you at St Mark’s: Polling Station to vote; Church to worship! May His truth be the foundation on which we build our lives; his grace the power by which we live in hope throughout the year – and years ahead - whatever the outcome of the Election.

Happy Christmas and a hope-filled New Year

Nick and Harriet