Anglican Diocese of Armidale

The Anglican Diocese of Armidale exists to glorify God by introducing people to Jesus and helping them home to heaven.


In Focus

Messiah from the Shire

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

“Messiah from the Shire” was the headline, describing the man whose party had just won an election but who could not help his Cronulla Sharks footy team to be successful. Whatever the reason for the headline, it is a ridiculous one. 

The term Messiah is a Hebrew word translated in Greek as “Christ”. We are familiar with this title being applied to Jesus the son of Joseph the carpenter. Christ is not Jesus surname but a title that means King. Of course when used of Jesus it speaks of the reign of a man who performed miracles, helpful miracles that gave life, strengthened life and promised life.

Scott Morrison is no Messiah. Quite the opposite really. Scott Morrison, like all Australians, is a man who needs the Messiah. Far from performing miracles, most Australians believed that Scott Morrison needed a miracle to achieve an unlikely victory. More importantly, Scott Morrison will need the help of a Messiah to bring life, strengthen life and promise life to the people of our nation. The miracle in winning the election is irrelevant to the miracles we need fiscally, environmentally, humanitarianly and socially. It is unhelpful and untrue to think that all Labor’s policies were wrong and it would be a wonderful miracle to see our parliamentarians work collaboratively, taking the best ideas of the whole to help make our nation stronger.

“Messiah from the Shire” gives undue credit to our new prime minister. He didn’t elect himself to the office. The people of our nation were those who voted and I hope none of us would claim Messiah status for doing so.  We, like the Prime Minister, do not work miracles but we all know we live in need of them.

The Bible warns of King makers. All through history people have chosen Kings according to our own likes or dislikes. We choose Kings like other worldly kings, who sadly, more often than not, find absolute power corrupting absolutely and the people end up suffering. The Bible stresses the place of God in the appointment of governments and it makes it clear that God removes governments when they fail in their duty. Sometimes in history God has raised up better leaders but sometimes in judgement God has handed sinful nations over to worse leaders with much worse consequences.

I am, like most, little more than a political observer and many people will have opinions why the Liberals won and Labor lost. I expect the reasons are many but I believe this election revealed that any party who ignores the religious vote underestimates the power of such a vote. There is no doubt that the religious freedom and freedom of speech issues and the dangerous legislation suggested in November 2018 served to awake a sleeping giant that went to the polls declaring that some had overstepped the authority they were entrusted with.

Well what does all this say to the newly elected Government? It reminds the “Prime Minister” that his task is exactly that, to be first among servants in our nation, ministering to the needs of all people as able. It reminds local members that they are to walk in the good example of a “prime minister”. Our national leaders may come to power by vote but they receive leadership by the will of God and both God and people can remove them if they fail in this duty.

So let’s dispense with “Messiah from the Shire” headlines. Our elected representatives must live humbly and love others more than themselves as the true Christ did. For a nation, for refugees, for the environment and for our society in need of miracles, we should all pray that our politicians will seek the one true King who in compassion does work miracles.