Lection Connection

October 17, 2021: Who has the Wisdom?

From Fraser Macnaughton

This would appear to be the season for politicians around the world to be imparting some of their wisdom to us lesser mortals. Whether it be in the UK or Taiwan or New Zealand, there seems to be more of desire among some politicians to move away from mere catchy soundbites to more in-depth explanations of their policies. 

In the UK, Labour opposition leader Keir Starmer, ahead of his party’ annual conference, has laid out in a 14,000-word essay his emphases on the values of hard work, contributing to society, and partnership with the private sector. This moves the party away from traditional left-wing shibboleths, such as nationalization and over-spending. Starmer says “the role of government is to be a partner to private enterprise, not stifle it.” Devolution of powers from central government to local communities, tackling inequality, and ensuring effort is rewarded with better jobs and opportunities would all be hallmarks of a future Labour government.

Meanwhile in Taiwan, increasingly alarmed by a recent upscaling of military flights sent into their airspace by China, President Tsai Ing-wen has written a full essay outlining the importance of democracy in her country and declaring that her people are committed to defending the country’s democracy against an increasingly aggressive China. She warns her allies to “understand the value of working with Taiwan” against the broader threat posed by Beijing. “And they should remember that if Taiwan were to fall, the consequences would be catastrophic for regional peace and the democratic alliance system.” Broadening her theory of the current situation, she believes that authoritarian regimes are more convinced than ever since the COVID-19 pandemic that their model of governance is better adapted than democracy to the requirements of the 21st century.

New Zealand, under the premiership of Jacinda Ardern , has received widespread praise for the way in which she protected her country form Covid with some of the severest lockdown restrictions. Now, however, opposition politicians are threatening to break ranks as the country’s biggest city, Auckland, struggles to contain an outbreak of the Delta variant. 

The National party’s leader, Judith Collins, said elimination had worked while vaccines were under development, but now the plan must change. “Elimination is clearly not working,” Collins says. There had been ongoing high-level public support for the government’s approach, which has been borne out in its election results and the most recent polls. But cracks are now appearing in the consensus, and with a structured thought-out plan the opposition are hoping to make hay amongst voters. 


Explore… Mark 10:35–45

  • What are the ways in which you discern wisdom among your politicians?
  • What markers or indicators do you use when deciding who to vote for locally or nationally?
  • To what extent is your support for a party or politician based on their philosophy of serving the people compared to what they promise you individually?


May we move closer to the reign of God by realizing prayer is a way of life as much as a recitation of words or a shopping list of wants. And may we exercise the gift of discernment of wisdom more rigorously as we walk on the Way of Christ. Amen.


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