Jack Layton came to Kamloops today and while it was brief, I did have the chance to speak with him for a few moments today. He's a very real and down to earth person. While we didn't talk at length today, I would have liked to tell him that he has been a tremendous encouragement to me.
During the last federal election, I read a quote by Mr. Layton in the Canadian version of Christianity Today. Along with every other federal leader he was asked how he saw the relationship between faith and politics. The responses (loosely quoted...) were as follows:
Then PM Paul Martin (LIB) - "I leave my faith at the door because faith and politics shouldn't mix."
Stephen Harper (CPC) - said something to the effect that faith was a personal matter and while it would affect the life of the individual, he preferred not to comment. This isn't an exact quote by any means, but he did give a very careful answer.
Gille Duceppe (BQ)- "Faith and Politics should not be mixed. I refuse to answer because the question is inappropriate."
Jack Layton (NDP) - "Ottawa needs to hear the prophetic voice of the faith community."
Mr. Layton is right and now you see why I like him! I really see this as invitation to a visit with him in his Ottawa office. I couldn't help but think as I shook his hand that the day is coming when I will be able to sit in his office in Ottawa and share the prophetic voice of the faith community with him. I already know what I will say to him when that day comes and I'm really looking forward to it.
Here's what I know to be true. God is more interested in the hearts/lives of political leaders than He is in their politics. Sadly we have been more concerned with their politics and not enough with their hearts and lives.
I also know that when they meet Jesus (the real Jesus, not an intolerant, narrow and uptight concoction of who He is sometimes made out to be) that they will be attracted to His love for people and His desire to strengthen and transform their lives so that they can experience His love, grace and power and at the same time fulfill their true life purpose. All of this is because of His great love for them.
I'm starting to preach so I'm gonna leave it for now! Have a good one!!