First published July 2016

The Reverend John Chandler reflects on the result of the EU Referendum.

So the United Kingdom has spoken – we are to leave the European Union. That’s such a momentous decision that there’s no way I should ignore it right now.

Right now, my response is reflection and prayer, based on God’s Word and my experience of His nature. The facts are that more than half of voting Britain decided that we will fare better outside the EU, but that almost half feel that the country has made the wrong decision. That leaves us all with lots of patching up to do, as well as a new economic and social framework to implement in the years ahead.

God will guide us, if we turn to him. His guidance will be unique, out of love and concern for all involved and in the light of these unique circumstances. The situation is actually larger than the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt – but perhaps we can learn a little from that as we face our own “Brexodus”. The Israelites were severely oppressed in Egypt – that’s not our experience, but we note that their Exodus was a long and painful process which included many years in the wilderness before approaching the “promised land”. In fact, those who were so pleased to be free began grumbling almost immediately because of their difficult journey.

If only the right way forward now could be as simple as following a SatNav. Unfortunately, the decisions our Government will need to make, businesses and others too, will need to navigate us through territory we have not known for a number of years, and the scenery will have changed considerably! Yet one comforting thing about my SatNav’s gentle voice is that she is completely non-judgmental. There’s no comment like “If that’s where you want to go, I wouldn’t start from here!” – no assumption that I’m right or condemnation if I’m wrong. I am simply led from where I am to where I need to be. That was true of the Israelites, and it will be true of us; that’s God’s nature.

So I recommend it should be our nature too. The decision was made with our eye on the future, so it would be unproductive to dwell on the past, even the past few days. And as we move forward, I’m comforted to realise that whilst our future may not be part of a Union, we will always be part of a community. Community means a lot to us here, in the Church and across Myland, and there are many ways in which we can work together well even if our political, religious, cultural views, our objectives, our hopes and visions differ in many ways. We’ve proved that; now’s the time for the UK and Europe to achieve that. Step one: more prayer and reflection!

“In Your unfailing love, you will lead the people you have redeemed” (Exodus 15:13)

“He guides me on the right paths, for His name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3)

“He calls them by His own name, and leads them out” (John 10:3)


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