If someone, who happened to be completely oblivious to the EU referendum, were to wake up this morning and have their daily intake of public opinion, social networks and popular media sources, they would be left in a state of disarray. Fear would take hold and the unknowns of living in such a divided society would render them with no option other than to take a side and get ready for the turmoil that many will say will follow. There is a feeling in the air that the stability of yesterday has vanished and we are now in a vacuum of unknown entities where no one knows what will happen.
This is a lie.
The truth is this: prior to the referendum there was a God who was sovereign above all, higher than any authority and more just, good and loving than we can even imagine.
After the referendum, there is a God who is sovereign above all, higher than any authority and more just, good and loving than we can even imagine.
I’m fully aware that there is no difference between those two statements; that’s because there is nothing that has changed in God’s character and promise to always guide us, lead us and take care of us when we acknowledge him in all that we do (Proverbs 3:6).
If you’re reading this and feel unsure about the society we live in, I pray that it would be a calling card to refuse outright to let fear, worry or anger take hold in your heart. We have an enemy who would desire to use the referendum to divide our society and render us unable to live together in peace – we must fight against this. Regardless of whether you voted to leave or remain, Jesus has secured for us a citizenship in a land that is far from what we see on our screens today; where peace is everlasting, joy is overflowing and our government is from the hand of he who loves us with an unconditional love. So take heart brothers and sisters, because we have an opportunity today to be voices in the wilderness, proclaiming that we need not fear or worry, nor must we feel any anger or resentment. We, as the Church of Jesus Christ, can be the light in the darkness that our country and world needs; not out of a position of misplaced patriotism in the governments of men and women, but out of a loving desire for our world to know the riches that we have found in the arms of a sovereign God.
If we reflect on the current state of the UK, Europe and our world, we may be overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of work that needs to be done in order to care for the vulnerable, seek justice and end tyranny. There was, for the majority of us, few opportunities to make any kind of difference in the running of the EU, and the place of the UK within that. But I wonder is there something that could have been done that wasn’t? Is there something that we could still be doing but don’t do nearly enough? Could that missing thing be a united church praying for our land? The power of united prayer in shaping our world has long been underestimated and underused. In the midst of such division, debate and disagreement, the Church cannot afford to take our lead from the institutions of this world and be divided in the same way.
Let’s unite at this time, overlooking all differences to pray together for the future of the UK, Europe and our world. We can be sure that we have God’s blessing in this endeavour, and our prayers will stand alongside that of Jesus in John 17 when he prays for all believers.
And remember, he will be with us through everything.
‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand’