It really is, a mess. It’s hard to comprehend some of the political shenanigans at the moment. Well over here in the UK in any case. In previous editions of ‘The Pastoral is Political’ I have perhaps been critical of the incumbent of the White House . And perhaps been a little smug that over here we were doing better. How the tables have turned. As I wistfully glance over the Atlantic Ocean (so ok, I can’t actually see the ocean from this side of the UK, but you get my gist) I dream of a day when we might have someone with decency and gravitas in No 10. Instead it’s a daily tale of jobs for the boys/girls, money wasted on vanity projects, text messages with buddies promising to sort the tax problem, lunch ‘tech classes’ and the list just goes on. BUT incredibly this has had little effect on opinion polls.

What is a pastor to do/say? This Sunday the lectionary give us the Good Shepherd. And so this pastor is getting political. In the Good Shepherd we have a model of leadership that others could do well to follow. The Good Shepherd has the welfare of their flock as their primary concern. Not how to cover their own backs and how to line the pockets of their buddies. We need a leader that has their eye on the flock and carefully making sure the whole flock are thriving not just those that are of use to them.

In Scotland we head to the polling stations in a couple of weeks to vote in elections for the devolved Scottish Government. As part of the UK we have to elect two sets of members of parliament. And the political contrast between the two has never been more clear. Currently I am considering my voting tactics. It’s complicated (you thought the electoral college was complicated!j I have a vote for a constituency representative and then a vote for the party of my choice. Except it’s not as simple as it sounds. The person standing for the party I would like to vote for has little chance of winning the constituency seat so I will be voting tactically to keep one party from winning. For the party list I will vote for the party of my choice. It’s going to be interesting to see what happens.

The qualities of our political leaders are important. They should be people we can look up to. But sadly that is so often not the case. I am so glad for a Good Shepherd I can look up to and put my trust in.

Apologies for no pictures or links for further reading. It’s been a difficult time these last few weeks after losing my father. Today’s priority was taking my mum shopping for things for her new house.

Blessings fellow sheep (in the very best sense of the word!)


Shuna Dicks is a minister in the Church of Scotland. Her parish is in the leafy suburbs of Aberdeen. Lockdown house companions are her husband and son and the two dogs.

One thought on “The Pastoral is Political: What a mess

  1. I totally agree – it’s a mess everywhere! As for the text, I’m preaching on the Good Shepherd but asking that we not think of ourselves as sheep, but rather Shepherds in training. Prayers as you grieve. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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