"“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”"

Psalm 127 begins where we all should: with God building” and guarding”, not with ourselves and what we want to do. It starts with the call to be part of what God is already doing, not with what we do for God. This work of God involves both the local and personal (“the house”) and the public and national (“the city”). And we all need to recognise this, not just to ensure success (verse 1) but to guard against anxiety (verse 2).

Perhaps this focus on trusting over toiling, this freedom from the tyranny of autonomy, is why verse 1 of our Psalm are carved into the floor of Central Lobby in Parliament. Particularly in an election season, coming in an age of 24-hour news’ delivered via smartphone, the pressures and needs can seem so great – the temptation to toil early and late for food to eat” as verse 2 goes on to say. If anything, we need the Psalm’s reminder even more.

We need to be reminded it is the LORD who is building, and the LORD who is watching over the city. He could perfectly well do it by Himself, but He involves us for the same reason that He grants us sleep: because He loves us.

""Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.""

Verse 3 can seem like quite an abrupt switch, to suddenly talk about children and the​“fruit of the womb”. So how is this related to the message that God’s people reflect and serve Him by trusting rather than toiling? Perhaps verses 3 – 5 are another much needed case study of how faithfulness (not franticness) produces fruitfulness. God says​“well done my good and faithful servant” not​“well done you headless chicken.”

The image here in verse 3 is of how the faithfulness of husband and wife, in God’s original intent, leads to fruitfulness of children. But as Paul teaches us in Ephesians 5, the first marriage and the command to be fruitful in Genesis 1 and 2 reflect and foreshadow the final marriage of Christ and His bride, the Church, and the spiritual fruitfulness that comes from Christ’s faithfulness to his Church. It is Christ’s faithfulness on which we rely, and where our confidence comes from that our God does indeed watch over us – never to leave nor forsake us.

So as we consider the positions of the candidates and the pledges of the manifestos, we would do well to pray that the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the only ruler of princes would grant us wisdom to discern where He is building, how He is watching and where fruitfulness not simply​‘activity’ is truly found. In a world that desperately wants and needs fruitfulness, the opportunity to witness by the​“faithful” can be a shining light.