why politics ?
“Jesus called them together and said: ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be the slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’” Mk 10:42-45
What does this passage mean? Clearly, Jesus is instituting servanthood as a key element of discipleship. But he is also putting it in the context of ‘rulers over the Gentiles’ – he is giving a new philosophy of politics. He is encouraging a political system where the leaders act as servants of the people who raise them up; unlike the ancient Caesars. And the Bible is also living; it’s speaking against a system where MPs are self-serving within their expenses, where political parties target ‘swing voters’ with their policies and where ministers are more concerned about their own career than making the right decisions for their country. And the example of this is our own Lord – who served even though it cost him everything.
I believe that it is this servant attitude Jesus is encouraging here that is missing in today’s politics. That’s why I think that God is calling a generation to enter politics in humility, grace and truth; to serve both the people who elect them, and the Kingdom of God. Politicians control much of what goes on, and if Christians with a heart to serve the last, the least and the lost get into politics, we can come one step closer to God’s will being done on Earth as in Heaven.
I, personally, have long felt a calling to just this. A natural interest in politics, a small aptitude for public speaking, combined with a God-given belief in the power of servanthood make this calling seem sound; and God has been affirming this through various people and at various points. When I was at Soul Survivor this year, a powerful prayer session led to a word of encouragement and a further call to humility. I believe that God is teaching me humility to serve others and his kingdom through the political arena, to change the world from the top-down, and hopefully to meet some of those changing it from the bottom-up somewhere in the middle. For me, this is a way of living out my faith. I hope you are inspired to do the same.
David Bagg, 18
David Bagg, 22/09/2009