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Some thoughts from Archbishop Justin Welby

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Archbishop Justin Welby writes

"On the understanding that nobody will pass this around I confess that I am less and less cynical about politics.

Elections are, I admit, times when the journey away from cynicism sometimes slows down a bit.

We know that a certain level of exaggeration and manipulation is going on, but beneath the shouting and spin, I rather think on the whole that there are very decent human beings trying to find a way to be effective in making our country better. Even, making the world better.

They want a country where we or our children or grandchildren can go safely to concerts.

They want a society where people are valued even if they can’t, for one reason or another, make a huge economic contribution.

They want a country where those I saw on the streets of London late last night have a different option than sleeping rough.

They want our country to contribute significantly in the world so that we can go on being proud of it.

They want many more things, and generally they do not ask a huge amount in return, beyond a chance to come to the end of life feeling they have used their time well. We all want our life to count. A sense of it having been worthwhile. Not in terms of recognition but in terms of a contribution that makes a difference. Yet in ourselves, in our communities, in our country and world we too often sense the forces of disruption and chaos that defeat the good we long to see.

For me as a Christian rather than this being hopeless it engages me with the God who makes all the difference.

What gives me inescapable hope is the trust, energy and vision that we believe God calls us to engage with for the sake of others.

This week churches around the globe are praying together for God’s difference to be known, for God’s healing and presence in our society, drawing on one line from the Lord’s Prayer, “thy Kingdom come”. Some people will think “oh, more sky fairy stuff”, but around the world, in places of peace or trouble, in suffering and security, in wealth and poverty, Christians will be praying this as they seek to live God’s purpose for them. In the wake of so much sorrow - the tragic attack in Manchester, the Coptic Christians killed as they travelled to pray - it would be easy, or perhaps even natural, to despair.

But as Christians we believe we are called to hope. Praying Thy Kingdom Come is a statement of hope, a declaration of our belief in the difference that only God can make. It’s not open to most of us to make decisions that heal the nations, or even our local communities. But it is open to all of us to live lives and pray prayers that bring purpose and hope."