Just a thought…
The UK is in upheaval. Loads of firsts – first time the Queen has been drawn into a political debate, first time the PM has been accused of lying to her, first Saturday sitting of the House of Commons…. first time democracy has stumbled over the outcome of a referendum in the UK, first time the opposition has admitted it doesn’t want a General Election. All is madness.
I don’t know who’s right and who’s wrong. I think everyone’s a bit of each. But Brexit isn’t the only saga – my church has a Brexit of its own, a debate about where the church goes next, physically. And of course the physical reality of any organisation reflects its spiritual state and aspirations. Do we hunker down, or step out? It goes to the heart of who we are. Should the UK remain forever an Island Nation, or can we embrace Europe? Is the church forever the organisation we have now, in the form we have now, or should it embrace change?
Our Brexit (‘Prexit’) is just as laboured, long winded and snail-like as the one in Westminster and it’s a lesson in patience. Or impatience. We have prayerful, thoughtful, elected leaders and they’ve been so diligent about this whole thing, prayers and meetings and surveys and discussions and vote after vote that… well, to paraphrase and mangle a speech from the film ‘Network’:
I want my church to get up now. I want all of them to get up out of their chairs. I want them to get up right now and go to the window. Open it, and stick their heads out and yell: ‘We want to come to a conclusion! We trust that God is in control and guiding us! We trust our leaders and we support them! And we’re not gonna have any more blanketty- blank meetings!’
But thankfully, Brexit… Prexit…. there’s one huge difference. While the politicians are baying at each other, hurling insults, plotting and scheming to get their own way, encouraging mobs to harangue their opposing numbers, bullying, tweeting, campaigning, our church members are praying, smiling, listening, trying to understand the other person’s viewpoint, looking not for what we prefer, but for what God wants. Yes, yes, it’s become a bit tedious, the excitement of a couple of years ago is wearing a bit thin, and yes, it does make me want to throw them windows wide and yell, but I am very grateful for the care and kindness knitted into this three year discussion. (I may be exaggerating – it may have been just two years. But, in mitigation, it feels like 43)
We’re looking for the greater good, for God’s will, in love. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our politicians did the same?