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United Reform Baptist Church . Lichfield
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He is risen

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Ministers' Page

Rather unexpectedly for most people, Theresa May fired the starting pistol for the next General Election on April 18th. Whatever her motives - and there have been all kinds of suggestions as to why exactly she decided to call an election now, despite her earlier statements that she would not do so - we are now faced with a few frantic weeks of campaigning before having once again to trot down to the nearest school hall, car-park Portakabin or village institute to make our mark on the ballot paper.

There will be hustings and leaflets, canvassers and party political broadcasts spewing out claims and counter-claims about all kinds of policies and promises to which we can look forward, depending on who gets to form the next government. We'll have people coming to the door and trying to snare us in the street, offering us all kinds of incentives to vote for their party. No doubt Europe, taxation, education and health will be the main talking points in pubs and clubs, over dinner tables and at checkouts for the next few weeks. As Christians we should be looking at some of the aspects of justice and righteousness that underpin the policies (although actually, most of us will probably vote out of self-interest, just like everyone else) and there will be hustings in the Cathedral and at Speakers' Corner where we can quiz the candidates.

In the end, it will all boil down to having to make a choice, based on prejudice, loyalty or experience, and we will each have to make it in the privacy of the voting booth on June 8th. It's just one more choice - albeit a very significant one - alongside all the other more or less important choices we make day by day. Who will be my energy provider? Where will I shop? What will I read? What shall I wear? Whom shall I marry?

Many of the choices we make don't involve us in much thought and very often we drift into things without really thinking about them. We go with the crowd, or we do what we've always done, or we assume there is no alternative, or we think it's not very urgent. A choice we all have to make, although it doesn't figure too high on many people's lists because for most of us it seems quite remote, is what we expect to happen when this life is over. We believe that we will spend eternity with God in his Kingdom or separated from him for ever - eternal life or the opposite. Jesus made it very clear that the smart option is to choose life, to trust him and what he has done through the cross and resurrection so that we can spend eternity with him in God's restored and renewed Kingdom. We can actually start to enjoy the benefits of that now, as we experience his peace and joy, and draw on his strength and support.

The choice, though - like the choice you will have to make in the voting booth on June 8th - is one that only you can make. Choose carefully - but choose, both in the forthcoming election and, perhaps more significantly, for eternity.

Rev Ian Hayter

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Last updated: August 26th, 2016
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