As I write, the Prime Minister has been speaking in the House of Commons about one of the most divisive political issues I can remember. At this point, no-one knows what shape the British Isles will take in the future. Divided on party, class, and economy we face a real prospect of no longer being a United Kingdom- and have no clarity about our relationship with Europe or other potential trade partners.
Fingers are pointed, tongues wag, and hate crimes increase. What have we come to?
Many of us have strong political opinions, which is as it should be: but we seem to have forgotten how to disagree without blaming and victimising others.
I strongly suspect that the root of our troubles lies in the fact we have uprooted ourselves from our true foundation. We have, as a nation, cut ourselves “free” from God and we have chosen to go our own ways. Confusion reigns.
“Love the Lord your God with all of of your heart, mind and soul- and love your neighbour as yourself.”
That command from Jesus is as relevant as it as ever been. Those who claim the name of Christ should demonstrate the practical outworking of that through obedience and love. One thing we can do is pray for our nation, and its political and economic leaders.
The photograph is of the beautiful dry-stone walls that enhance the Peak District. They are strong, but need to be kept in good repair. A farmer told me of the problem of itchy cows. To relieve their torment, the cows lean and scratch themselves on the stones. Cows are heavy and strong- and can push the walls over. What follows? Chaos!
A prayer: Lord God, we see the confusion and anger in our society. The boundaries have been broken, and injustice and poverty afflict many frightened, lonely and angry people. Lord, please act in grace and mercy to bring healing and restored hope in our land.
Stir up our hearts to seek righteousness, humility, and kindness; to choose to be good neighbours and good Samaritans, helping and loving each other. Teach us again right from wrong, teach us to care and not to be judgemental. Help us to be forgiving, and be willing to receive forgiveness too.
Raise up men and women of courage and wisdom to guide us forward.
Renew our hope: turn the hearts of children to the parents, and the parents to the children, and turn all of our hearts toward You.
In your mercy and faithfulness, hear our prayer- in Jesus’ Name. Amen.