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Relevance – Part Two

Well, today is the day of Canada’s 42nd election since confederation. It’s a very tight race and, after 79 days of campaigning, is still too close to call. Whoever the Prime Minister of Canada is tomorrow will be charged with the responsibility of providing leadership to this great country or ours. Our votes matter. We get to pick the leader that most resonates with our own core values. Whoever ‘wins’ this election will dictate the direction that Canada will take on any number of issues. The decision will affect us, our children, our friends on the street and our environment for years to come. Elections matter.

But regardless of whether or not we like the person who emerges tomorrow as the Prime Minister of this country, our hope at The Salvation Army rests elsewhere.

As we watch this election campaign unfold we see leaders completely consumed by their placement in the polls. Each one of these candidates wants and needs to know if their popularity among voters is on the rise and if it’s not, each one will view their campaigns as a failure.

But today, regardless of who wins this election, we at The Salvation Army still worship and pledge allegiance to Jesus who is still the King of kings, whose politics will never change. He didn’t seem to care about approval ratings; they were ‘irrelevant’ to Him. In fact, in his first public address (Luke 4:18, 19) he spoke truth that enraged his audience. His culture’s idea of relevance was not His primary concern.

According to his first ever speech, his campaign was simple: to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives, to make the blind to see, to let the oppressed go free and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.

This current campaign had very little mention of the poor, barely spoke of finding redemptive ways to set captives free, was blinded by economics instead of helping the blind to see, had almost no mention of the oppressed (like the Aboriginal community) and didn’t feel anything like the proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favour.

Thankfully, we bend our knee to the one true King of kings, whose campaign isn’t a popularity contest and who doesn’t need my vote. So whether we like the person or his/her politics as Prime Minister, it doesn’t affect our hope. Our hope rests in a ruler who has always been and always will be King.

Let’s keep on trying to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City’.

Dion Oxford, Director of Mission Integration

Prayer of St. Francis
Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
It is in dying to self that we are born to eternal life.
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