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More of the same leads to the inevitability of change

... your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6. 10

So the SNP has a new leader and, if confirmed in Holyrood today, Scotland has a new First Minister. The election of Humza Yusuf is good news for those who oppose independence. Proclaiming himself to be the "continuity candidate" implies that he offers more of the same: declining party membership, widening rift in educational achievement between rich and poor, a sluggish economic recovery, the NHS in crisis and chaos on the ferries. Crucially for the constitutional debate, recent policy lapses including the imposition of HPMAs, the recycling scheme and acceleration of the gender realignment process - all of which are connected to the SNP's alliance with the Green Party - look set to erode further the party's appeal to the rest of us. And, although the independence movement is bigger than one political party (or even two!), a weakening nationalist party will surely sap the likelihood of that movement achieving its goal any time soon - especially in the face of solid Tory opposition and a resurgent Labour Party.

Should Christians take sides? Should we sully ourselves in the murky underworld of political intrigue? If we pray the so-called Lord's Prayer, it is difficult to justify how we can avoid it. Asking that God's intentions should not be confined to heaven but should hold sway on earth too, draws us into the cut and thrust of everyday life and political decision-making and agenda-setting, whether we like it or not. The question is whether the system, as it is, can deliver the answer to our prayers, or whether our prayers are demanding a different answer to what that system is currently equipped to deliver. Whether it is 1st century Palestine, colonial Britain, Nazi Germany or any number of unjust regimes around today, there comes a time when more of the same will not do and Christians have to demand change.

Yet doing so places a demand on us: we must become part of that change...



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