““Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets.” (Luke 20:46 NLT)
I limit myself to quoting only one verse a day, but this one really needs to be read with the one which follows. Basically, Jesus is warning his disciples to be wary of religious leaders who cheat widows but then pray loudly in public, thinking they are pious.
In place of “religious teachers” read politicians.
How many times have you seen them on tv, or even in real life, strutting around kissing babies, shaking hands grinning for the cameras? And what are they doing for us, the common people? Never what they’d promised.
What are they in the job for? To have the lovely robes? The best seats? Or to serve and help people, usually the most vulnerable people in society?
In a few weeks time it will be the local elections here in the UK. And in the coming weeks the politicians will be out and about doing what they do. Anything to get your vote.
Promising this or that or the other.
But the mood has changed. Something disturbing is happening. A group of racists is gaining popularity and may well get elected in a number of seats in local government. Oh, whoops… Did I say racists. Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to say that. They’re not of course. My apologies.
But they stand for nationalism and a mistrust of foreigners. So not racists at all then.
Let’s fast forward to the next general election. And let’s suppose that they were elected to govern. That’s not likely to happen, but it’s a possibility.
They will, I’m sure, enjoy the trappings of success and the best seats in the house. They will be applauded by many and paraded out at every opportunity.
But who will win in the long run? They have made themselves clear on that. It won’t be the widows who will have cause to worry this time. It will be the poor and vulnerable who will be marginalised and squeezed.
And what happens when a percentage of any nations population are oppressed? Read any history books for the answer to that. It never ends well.
So when we vote, it’s not just thinking about who we usually vote for. It’s thinking about this: who will do the best for the people, and not for themselves.