We’ve just had local elections in the UK. Later this month we will be voting in the European elections. Last week, Conservative MPs were telling Theresa May that a fresh referendum is becoming “inevitable” as talks with Labour look set to fail.
North of the border, Scotland could demand a second independence referendum if the UK votes to exit the EU. In Ireland, if there’s no agreement, we could either see a harder border or more checks when travelling to Great Britain from any part of the island of Ireland.
Clearly the United Kingdom is far from being united, with many questions being asked about what sort of ‘kingdom’ we wish to live in.
Many would say that there are more important things to worry about than whether we are ‘in’ or ‘out’ of the EU – poverty, the health service, knife crime, child abuse, the threat of terrorism – and on a global scale, wars and injustice and oppression – and perhaps the biggest threat of all – global warming. Last week, teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg said “the message is clearly not getting through”, despite thousands of children striking to challenge governments worldwide to take action to avoid a climate catastrophe.
Where do we stand on all this? What is our moral and spiritual ‘state’? What ‘state’ do we elect to join, or leave, or to separate ourselves from?
In Romans chapter 12, Paul says “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect”
The bible tells us what is good and acceptable and perfect … such that we clearly know something needs to be done about all these issues. But the trouble is, too many of us feel powerless to do anything about it.
But we are not powerless. We have a voice.
You have a voice.
I have a voice.
Let’s use our voices to speak out.
We may not have contacts in high places, or the ability to influence those in authority, but we can talk to people – our Christian and non-Christian friends, neighbours, anyone – to raise awareness, to change attitudes, to bring about change.
And let us pray for the Spirit’s guidance as we use our ‘voices’ at the ballot box – in the EU elections, in any future elections, and in any ‘Final Say’, if there is one – so that in all this, we use our voices to advance the Kingdom of God here on earth. For Christ’s sake.
by Rod Morrison, Hall Gate United Reformed Church