This morning I have woken up to undoubtedly the biggest decision in British politics for the last forty years. There will be some who will be excited and gratified by the result, some who will be shocked and others utterly disappointed.
Whatever our own personal feelings about the result we need to recognise that this is a time of extreme change for our country and for Europe. Already our Prime Minister David Cameron has resigned and Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, is considering a second referendum for Scotland’s independence from the UK as it seeks to remain inside the EU. There has also been economic uncertainty with a fall in the value of the pound and turmoil in the financial markets. The scale, the pace and drama of the result seems quite breathtaking.
So what should be our response as Christians? What should we do at such times?
A statement from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, states that our response to the result of the referendum should be an attitude of humility and courage and we should approach this time of transition with unity, hope and generosity. He says,
“The referendum campaign has been vigorous and at times has caused hurt to those on one side or the other. We must therefore act with humility and courage – being true to the principles that make the very best of our nation. Unity, hope and generosity will enable us to overcome the period of transition that will now happen, and to emerge confident and successful. The opportunities and challenges that face us as a nation and as global citizens are too significant for us to settle for less.”
2 Timothy also gives us help in how to respond. Paul says in his letter to Timothy to,
“Pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.”
As God’s people I want to urge us to intercede.
Please pray for unity in our nation. With 51.9% of our nation voting to leave it means there are 48.1% who are in disagreement. In particular pray for our younger voters who overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU.
Please pray for the future of British people living in Europe and Europeans living here.
Please pray for our leaders. There is much wisdom needed for our nation’s leaders as they begin to work out the ramifications of what it will mean to leave the EU. This is acomplex and new situation with a lot of unknowns.
Please pray for our European partners. There has been much shock and disappointment expressed towards the Brexit vote. Pray that leaders on all sides will deal with each other with the humility, courage and grace that this situation demands.
Pray for ourselves: That we continue to ‘act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God’ (Micah 6:8).
Finally here are some words of prayer from Ian Paul to encourage us:
“Eternal God, light of the nations, in Christ you make all things new: guide our nation in the coming days through the inspiration of your Spirit, that understanding may put an end to discord and all bitterness. Give us grace to rebuild bonds of trust that together we may work for the dignity and flourishing of all. Amen.”
Daniel Currie (Vicar)
This article was partly inspired by Ian Paul. Read his full article at http://www.psephizo.com/lifeministry/so-what-do-we-do-now/