On the symbolic date of 29th March, when the nation expected to be leaving the European Union, Simeon Mitchell, URC Secretary for Church and Society, offers this reflection.
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
As politicians continue to wrestle with Brexit and the way forward remains unclear, many of us are feeling disillusioned, anxious and uncertain. The discussions around leaving the EU have shown us that we are far from a united kingdom, and have themselves deepened many of those divides.
As churches we too speak from different geographical places and political spaces. We are made up of leavers, remainers and abstainers, British nationals, EU residents and global immigrants. We are a mix of generations. We are divided in our views on Brexit.
Yet this position is also part of our prophetic witness: we know that the love of God is stronger than what separates us. We know that our differences do not need to stop us working together and listening to those who are other, voiceless or ignored. Instead, as the URC General Assembly said in the immediate aftermath of the referendum, “the Gospel mandates us to respect all people, love our neighbour and offer hospitality to strangers… The Church’s responsibility now is to be a voice of love, hope, inclusion and compassion.”
At this uncertain time, we should continue to pray for our nation, and for our government, MPs, and parliamentary processes, trusting in the peace of God that passes all human understanding. In a time of division, let us also recommit to being people of reconciliation and hope, and shaping our communities with compassion and kindness.
During this time of national uncertainty,
we pray for wisdom for our government, Prime Minister, MPs and parliamentary staff.
We lift to you all those who are anxious for change
and those who are fearful for the future.
May you heal our divisions and our disillusionment;
uniting us in the call of Christ,
to be people who work for your peace,
and live in your love.