Keeping the word…

In post election Australia, eyes will be on the diligence of the successful party in keeping the promises they have made. The unsuccessful party will be under similar scrutiny. How disposable are the radical policies not bought by the public in maintaining the vision of an alternative way of governing our national affairs? How feasible is it, in opposition, to continue to promote a rejected platform based on an alternative political commitment? How will policies be remoulded over the next three years to become more electorally palatable?

Followers of the Way have no such wriggle room, it seems from this coming Sunday’s reading in John 14:23-24 “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me.”

In John’s Gospel, “keeping the word” is not blind obedience, but discerning response to the Spirit of Christ that dwells within and amongst followers of Christ. The wider context emphasises over and over again the essential binding unity that is energised by the love of God revealed in the life, ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth.

Perhaps the challenge and role of the Church in post-election Australia is to maintain its witness to this reality in its dialogue with those who represent us in Parliament.