26th July 2021

Without wishing to get into party politics, I found the overall image of our political climate created by the BBC’s interview with Dominic Cummings last week deeply depressing. Not only did the Prime Minister’s former aide present politics as a matter of pure power relations, exploitation of those perceived as weaker, and the sowing of division, but he seemed unable to conceive of politics being conducted in any other way. Political power was presented simply as the means to push through your own (sometimes apparently very personal) agenda.

It’s not how power works in the Kingdom of course. We serve a God who relinquished his supreme power in the ultimate act of solidarity with his creation – to join us as a vulnerable human being. And Jesus’s many acts of compassion for the individual men and women he encountered show him using his power to turn their lives around.

The contrast between these two visions of how power works may seem overwhelming, and as individuals it is easy to feel powerless to change the world we live in. But we need to remember that we are ‘in the world but not of it’. I once saw this memorably expressed as the idea that Christians are ‘secret [or possibly not so secret?] agents for the Kingdom’: even our smallest acts of kindness for others (the friendly word with the tired-looking shop assistant at the checkout; the purchase of a Big Issue and a chat with the seller on the way out) are acts of resistance inspired by the love of Christ who is our example. His Kingdom come.

Debbie Pinfold