When the political landscape looks dark and foreboding, where is our hope? Can we trust political leadership to provide a better way forward? What if leaders in the government sphere are far from God and pursuit of His precepts?
It can be difficult to feel hopeful in this time when our political future is uncertain and small actions don’t seem to make a difference. However, from my perspective of observing and experiencing realities up close in Ottawa with the Christian Embassy, I believe there are many reasons for optimism for the future of Canada!
To illustrate, let me first share the ‘Starfish story’ with you. Perhaps you’ve heard it as well:
A young boy walked along the beach after the tide had receded, throwing stranded starfish back into the water. He was ridiculed because his efforts were not making a difference and he would not be able to save all of the starfish. Undaunted, he threw another starfish into the water and said, “it made a difference for that one.”
Optimism in the political sphere
There are a number of Members of Parliament (MPs) who embrace the message of Jesus. They are not only studying God’s Word, but also seek to faithfully live out the countercultural principles of His Word in their constituency and in Ottawa. This ‘salt and light’ effect is crucial in our times, adding flavour and permeating the darkness.
As the Christian Embassy seeks to encourage and resource these ambassadors for Christ, these MPs can in turn engage directly with colleagues who may not currently experience the joy of a relationship with Jesus. They have been able to encourage or ‘walk with’ a colleague through personal life challenges. They are blessing, praying with, and offering them resources based on the truth of God’s Word.
It is unlikely that a few MPs among over 300 will automatically turn a decision or pass a law totally in favour of acknowledging God’s principles. However, it is necessary for these courageous MPs to ‘stay at the table’ and verbalize their perspective, as it will inevitably have a positive impact on the end result.
For example, while MPs standing for the protection of a vulnerable people group were unable to stop a bill from advancing, many safeguards were inserted due to their persistent efforts. This might seem like an insignificant contribution, but like the starfish story, it does make a difference. It is one more step in seeing God’s will done on earth as it is in heaven.
Our ultimate hope
Even when we don’t see the difference MPs are making or the trustworthy leadership we had hoped for, we can have confidence in our ultimate hope — God.
God’s Word offers hope when there seems to be none. His Word reminds us of His sovereignty over all circumstances and situations. “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.” (Jeremiah 32:17) Throughout history, God has been at work. He is the One who removes and raises up leaders. “He changes times and seasons; He deposes kings and raises up others.” (Daniel 2:21)
The Christian Embassy is just one small part of the way God is bringing His kingdom to the political sphere. As we and our Christian political leaders give voice to the source of our hope, others are entering God’s kingdom and pursuing His will. When we pray, speak up, and humbly depend on God’s Holy Spirit to take the transforming truth of Jesus’ sacrificial death and glorious resurrection to our world, we can make a difference ‘for that one!’ That ‘one’ in turn might make a difference for the entire country.