"When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9.36
As the dust settles on another Holyrood election, the temptation is to think "sin e" (that's it), breathe a sigh of relief and plod on. That would be a mistake. That kind of "leave it all to our elected representatives, for better or worse" is what has led us to the current state of affairs in which an increasingly remote and out-of-touch government has been allowed to preside over exam fiascoes, the intrusive and now also discredited "named person" scheme, the (for island communities) catastrophic decline of CalMac, failure to get to grips with land reform... the list goes on. Why? Because our current political system hands a mandate of power to government for five long years, during which the electorate (you and I) are encouraged to go to sleep until it's time to be wooed for another mandate.
What does all this have to do with our walk with Christ? Everything! Politics touches the lives of real people and therefore it really matters. Which is why we need to wake up to the fact that for too long we've been conned into thinking that it's someone else's responsibility. Perhaps it would be helpful to change the metaphor to "As the mist clears on another Holyrood election..." and we realise how things could be so much better...
Where to begin? Much will depend on whether the SNP wins that all-important overall majority. But whether or not they do, local democracy (you and I) needs to start flexing what little muscle we have in order to bring the decisions that affect our lives closer to home. That means learning about the issues and how we would like society to work - for the benefit of everybody and not how our political masters say it will work to the advantage of those they have chosen to favour or, indeed, to the disadvantage of us all - due to incompetence or ignorance or both.
Jesus eschewed worldly power, wealth and influence and yet he felt responsible for the needs around him and did something about them. Then he cleared the way to eternal life for anyone who would trust him and announced that it begins the moment we do. Finally he summoned his friends to follow him and called them "family". And he continues to calls us into his family business. As we submit to being reshaped into his image, who loves us, pray for the love to reshape society into the image of his Kingdom, as we wait and work for its fuller arrival.