Writing this month’s letter just a week before we were originally due to leave Europe I am minded to wonder just how the recent weeks and months before that will be seen in the course of time. How will history view these extraordinary times, of a divided nation, parliament and government as well as our prime minister, as our nation seeks to go it alone somewhat? This time will pass as all these things do; but what I wonder will be the legacy that is left behind? We will have to wait and see….
This month we celebrate Easter and I am reminded of how things didn’t turn out as the disciples and others wished when the person they thought was going to free them from foreign occupation; someone who could perform extraordinary miracles, was put to death in the cruellest of ways alongside criminals. Where had it all gone wrong they must have wondered? As the people watching on jibed Jesus saying ‘He saved others, let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, the chosen one!’ no one could really understand or know what would happen next. Luke’s gospel tells of how two of the disciples were wearily travelling back from Jerusalem on the road to Emmaus, a nearby village, discussing as you would about all that they had just witnessed in Jerusalem. Jesus who appears as a fellow traveller joins them and hears how their hopes had been dashed; and goes on to explain the scriptures to them. It was only when they were eating with Jesus later that they realised exactly who it was who was sitting eating with them! What had at first appeared to be a hopeless situation; one which appeared certainly to be Godless too, was transformed into something that has and continues to stand the test of time some 2000+ years later; the birth of Christianity. God it seems was with them all the time.
For some leaving the European Union it will be a cause of great celebration but for others it will be a matter of great lament. But now we have to face the future, unknown for many, but we have to resist the temptation to be divided. It will be a new age and we can and should not be defined or define others by how we voted in the referendum. This is only the beginning of a new relationship with Europe and one thing that has always stood the test of time – in my view ‘God’ – and that is whenever there is death and destruction, there is always resurrection and new life; new chances and opportunities as new ground is dug over, ready to sow new businesses, ideas and jobs. Please pray with us that God will help us to build a future, where all may prosper and share as in the special prayer for the nation, published by the Church of England for this time of great change.
A Prayer for the Nation
God of hope, in these times of change,
unite our nation and guide our leaders with your wisdom.
Give us courage to overcome our fears,
and help us to build a future in which all may prosper and share;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
With my love and prayers as ever and wishing you all a very happy Easter!