The political Gospel (Advent Book Club 24 Dec)

(I’m taking part in the Twitter #adventbookclub, reading “Beginnings and Endings” by Maggi Dawn. Not every day will have a blog post.)

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.

(Luke 1:52-53)

Yesterday morning a large part of my Twitter timeline was taken up with responses to the MP Mark Pritchard’s suggestion that the church should preach the gospel and not interfere with politics. These responses (a couple of them mine) all made the point that to live the gospel was to get involved with politics, and in particular to support a political standpoint that gives priority to caring for the vulnerable.

I don’t really have much to add to Maggi Dawn’s comments on this passage. I’d like to quote all of them, but will just give the end: “The Magnificat … is a vision of justice that demands an active response. The gospel isn’t a promise unless it is also a call.”

Maggi’s book is called “Beginnings and Endings”, and subtitled “and what happens in between”. This passage from Luke’s gospel is both a beginning (setting the tone for Jesus’ ministry) and an end (a vision of the Kingdom of God); it is up to each one of us to be part of what happens in between, to work for a kingdom where power is given to the powerless, and the hungry are fed.

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