Brexit – living in uncertain times

Published: Thursday January 17, 2019

Bishop Rachel in the Houses of ParliamentWe continue to live in turbulent and uncertain times regarding the U.K.’s withdrawal from the European Union. Wishing that things had been lived differently will not change where we are, but we can be involved in shaping the present and future.

There is much to ponder about the world we want to be part of, locally, nationally and globally. Ultimately that world is shaped by relationship and not legislation.

Whatever happens regarding the Brexit process it is my hope and prayer that as individuals and worshipping communities we will continue to discern our role in reconciliation and peace-making within our communities in the coming weeks and months.

We are all aware of places where generosity and kindness appear to be in short supply, and I hope and pray that we can be those who live a spaciousness of heart and vision, with and among people who are divided.  How can we work with other partners to enable diverse views and feelings to be expressed, rooted in a commitment to deepening and expanding relationship between people even in places of profound disagreement?

So often anxiety and bewilderment narrow our vision, and yet this season of Epiphany is about Jesus Christ being revealed for who he is: The magi saw and worshipped; the crowd at the Jordan heard and recognised; the wedding guests tasted the ordinary transformed into the extraordinary. May our eyes, ears and hearts be expectant to encounter yet more of the mystery, glory and overwhelming love of God revealed in Jesus Christ, and live what that means for all people in our communities, particularly those who feel unseen, unheard and unvalued. And may we continue to find ways of playing a significant role in changing a narrative of fear and division as we join in with God’s narrative of unchanging hope and love.

Archbishop Justin Welby and Archbishop John Sentamu have released a joint statement in relation to Brexit.

“We echo the call of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland to Christians and all those of faith and goodwill to give time for prayer beginning this Sunday (20 Jan 2019) in their local churches or as they choose: praying for wisdom, courage, integrity and compassion for our political leaders and all MPs; for reconciliation; and for fresh and uniting vision for all in our country.”

As the decision in the Brexit deal has not yet been realised by Parliament, the Archbishop of York has thanked all for joining him in prayer and tweeted at the close of his prayer vigil that he will continue to use this prayer (below) 3 times a day: 6am, 12 noon and 6pm. ‘Please continue to pray with me up to the Exiting of the European Union on 29th March 2019.’

God of eternal love and power,

Save our Parliamentary Democracy;

Protect the High Court of Parliament and all its members

From partiality and prejudice;

That they may walk humbly the path of kindness, justice and mercy.

Give them wisdom, insight and a concern for the common good.

The weight of their calling is too much to bear in their own strength,

Therefore we pray earnestly, Father,

Send them help from your Holy Place, and be their tower of strength.

Lord, graciously hear us. Amen.

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