First Larne Presbyterian Church

First Larne Presbyterian Church

BREXIT - Something to ponder

Writing about Brexit is pretty much impossible these days.

In the days leading up to the release of this article – from when I started writing this to when you’re reading it, we could have a new (tentative) date to exit the EU, a new prime minister, a new front bench, a new lead Brexiteer, or a new bunch of staunch Remainers. So, whatever the situation is at this precise moment, I know only one thing: God is on His throne.

Actually, it’s not true to say that I only know one thing. I know one other thing: we, the followers of Jesus who make up the church in the UK, have a choice to make: will we be silent in this chaos or will we seize the opportunity to offer new hope?

Much has been written about how unprecedented the scale of division is the across the UK today, about how communities are split between young and old, rural and urban, rich and poor, and, of course, leave and remain. I don’t really know if it’s true that we’re more divided now than we’ve ever been, or whether it’s just that whatever was papering over the cracks has disintegrated into parliamentary farce and weak leadership. I don’t know if we’re being run by more incompetent leaders than before, or whether it’s the failure of institutions that has laid bare inabilities to govern well. Basically, I don’t know, and, at a guess, you probably know as much as I do.

But, back to the second truth that I do know. Across the UK this weekend, leavers and remainers will share a cup of coffee and discuss the weather; older folk will compare their particular ailment with the child who broke an arm playing rugby last week; out of towners will turn up at the local village church for Sunday service; and those who have a little more disposable income will shake hands with those who are barely scraping by. And why will all these seemingly disparate people come together? Because of the God they worship.

Christians know that our first identity is as children of God. And what do we know of our God? That He sits on the throne, His reign unending, His victory won. The God to whom we offer our worship: ​“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come” (Revelation 4:8). As children of this holy, magnificent, just, gracious, victorious King, we know that we are secure. How can we not be secure when our God in on His throne?

So, it is the gathering of God’s people in His church that can offer the world a new hope. It is the church that can show our broken, angry, fractured, hurting, brutalised society what wholeness, peace, reconciliation and hope looks like. We are the ones who can get out on church forecourts and offer free tea and coffee this weekend, with no caveats on whether the recipient deserves such a gesture.

We are the ones who can seek to mediate peace between clashing family members who are tearing themselves apart because of a voting record. We are the ones who can walk down the road into a community that looks different from ours – whether that’s culture or colour or wealth – and offer friendship. We are the ones who can visit the elderly, drop off food to a household celebrating the arrival of a new born, volunteer at a hospice, or mentor the disadvantaged.

Church, this is our moment. This is the moment when we can look, be, sound different. This is the moment when we can offer peace not hostility, love not hate, forgiveness not punishment. We, the children of God, are not to fear the social shaking going on around us; we are to walk out in confidence, knowing that our God is on the throne and that His victory is won. Let’s grasp this moment, offering a new vision, and watching as our communities transform.

Alexandra Davis

(Evangelical Alliance)