At the time of writing in late June, in or out of various European matters have been much in everyone’s thoughts.
At this stage it is now known both that the United Kingdom has decided to opt out of the European Union and that neither the Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland football teams will be in the quarter finals of Euro 2016. By the time this is printed we will know whether or not any UK team got much further in the football competition. Its results will be clear enough. What the result of the UK referendum will mean not just for this country but for Europe as a whole and even on the world stage is very much less certain and will need a lot of working out, possibly for years to come.
Whatever happens however, as Christians we can hold on to a source of security that can keep us steady in the most uncertain of times. We know we have a heavenly Father who wants the best for all people and who has sent his own son into the world and given him up to death that all might know the depth of his love for us. We also have a vision of the true unity that can be found through faith in Christ. This unity stems from our faith and trust in Jesus and in what he has done on the cross to reconcile us to God and to each other. It does NOT mean that we will be in complete agreement on all points of doctrine or belief. But it DOES mean that we recognise Jesus as the source of our knowledge of God and our hope of salvation and that we can trust his love to keep us safe for eternity. If we have joined this common community of faith we will never want to opt out.
So as we deal with the outcome of one political decision let’s remember that all human institutions will be flawed and bring difficulties as well as blessings, however well intentioned they may be. But let us remember also that Christians have also a greater allegiance to a more permanent kingdom in which alone true unity and peace will be found. For in the end the most important decision that any of us can make is to join that community of faith and live each day in the love and power of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
By Rev Mercia Malcolm