And so, another election has come and gone. As we await the results, whether eagerly or with indifference, the Church faces a choice in deciding how to respond. On one level, our response should be the same regardless of which candidates get elected; that is, we respond with a season of prayer and intercession for our new Assembly as they begin a new term of governing Northern Ireland. Our prayers for government must not be dependent on an election result we favour. Our prayers must be unconditional and unceasing. ‘But what about those MLAs who are against what we believe in?’ some may say, I can already hear criticism and mistrust of those possibly elected who disagree with certain Christian values and principles. Let’s remember that whatever the outcome for our new Assembly, we are still in the presence of a sovereign God who’s rule and power cannot be tarnished. His love is unconditional and his grace is mighty.
We may disagree with some potential MLAs on certain issues, but let’s not fall into the pit of hostility, superiority and anger. We must be better than that. We are free to live in the light of God’s truth and love, and we are free to have our beliefs about how society should operate, so we will continue to be a voice for truth into Northern Ireland. It is our tone and approach in responding to the election result which will be crucial. How we interact with MLAs who we disagree with will be indicative of how we are to respond to those in society who are unaware of God’s saving grace in Jesus Christ – with love, wisdom and power.
Is it possible to vocalise disagreement with some in society whilst still being a constant witness to incredible grace? It most definitely is, and it is vital that we ensure we are doing both in Northern Ireland.