How should I vote?
That is a question that I am asked time and again by those who believe that there is a Christian response to the questions raised in political debate and that I should have the answer. I am also aware of how often my reply falls short of the endorsement that they had hoped I would give for their particular party.
What I can always say is that we should vote. It isn’t good enough to stand on the sidelines and complain about politics if you can’t even be bothered to vote. On polling day I am always aware of those who fought to give us all the right to mark an X on the ballot paper, I still get a sense of pride that I live in a country where I have that right.
Yet the question still comes back to me “How should I vote?”.
I will therefore give you my answer by offering the scripture I use to decide how I should vote. It comes from St Matthews Gospel chapter 25
“Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these you did it to me.”
I look at those who are offering themselves as candidates for election and decide which of them will best bring this about, this care for the hungry and thirsty, those who will welcome the stranger among us, those who will provide the basics of a decent life, who will provide care for the sick and for those in prison. If I can see that candidate, I will place my mark next to them.
Please pray for all who are offering themselves for election, and pray that they are offering themselves, for the service of others.