Like many people across the country I was shocked on Friday morning to discover that the referendum result was a vote to leave the EU. Not even Nigel Farage or Boris Johnson expected that. Almost immediately people woke up to the repercussions as the Prime Minister resigned, the pound fell and there were threats of Scotland leaving the United Kingdom.
In many churches across the country, the Sunday morning readings were from the book of Kings. A book which describes the often monumental failures of the Israelite kings following on from David and Solomon. Not many of the kings are described well and often the people turned their backs on God and his ways. Even Elijah that great prophet had moments of failure. Immediately after he had proved to the people that God was God, as the fire rained down on the altar he made and the idolaters were proved wrong, he ran away and hid in a cave. He was worried that he was the only one left and the country was destined for disaster. However God did not leave the people, Elijah was succeeded by Elisha. God was always there watching over the nation, supporting and willing them to return to Him.
People had many different motivations for the votes they cast on Thursday. Some were selfish, others were more noble or idealist. Some who voted to leave did so because they honestly believed in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, others voted out of racist and xenophobic fears. Some who voted to remain believed passionately in the European project of collaboration, others out of worry of what the future may hold outside the EU.
However the vote was what it was. Now is not the time for recriminations or blame. God is God and continues to be God. He continues to love and care for us as a nation, as a continent, as a world.
Our motivation now as Christians has to be to bring unity and peace. We will need to work to bring a new reality into being, and trust in the God who never leaves us, who always has a plan for redemption and brings good out of each and every decision of human will.
Nations stand, and nations fall, but I am God over all…