Responding to the referendum
It’s a significant day for our nation. Voting to no longer be part of the EU and David Cameron resigning from being Prime Minister. Whether we would be in or out has dominated the news, conversations and our thinking for many weeks and you might be pleased, unhappy or indifferent about the result; or you may just have had enough of the whole thing and are glad it’s over!
However you’re feeling, and however you voted, what’s important now is how we respond and move forward. Here’s a few thoughts for those who follow Jesus…
1) Our citizenship is in heaven.
In Philippians chapter 3 Paul speaks about those whose minds are set on earthly things (v19) and goes on to say “but our citizenship is in heaven…” (v20). In other words if we follow Christ, then we are first citizens of the Kingdom of God, under his reign and rule, under his authority and governing power. The church is an outpost of heaven here on earth. Ultimately we don’t live for an EU ‘kingdom’ or a United Kingdom. Our priority is to Gods Kingdom and seeing that come here on earth. Jesus said to “seek first the Kingdom [of God] and don’t worry about all that other stuff” (my paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-34). Which takes me to my next point…
2) Our confidence is in God.
There’s a lot of anxiety, fear and worry about what will now happen. For the follower of Jesus our lives are not meant to be marked by these things (see Matthew 6 again). Our confidence and hope is not in financial markets, governments or political unions; rather our hope is in God. The fact is nations come and go; earthly kingdoms rise and fall (Psalm 46:6) but Gods Kingdom is unshakeable (Hebrews 12:28) and for the Christian, our hope, our confidence, our trust, is in Him. We build our lives on the Rock not on the sand (Luke 6:46-49) and therefore we stand firm, hearts trusting in God whatever the future may hold. I love this phrase that sums it up “I don’t know what the future holds but I do know who holds my future”.
3) Our role is to love.
There is of course divided opinion in our nation right now. There will be those who voted in and those who voted out who are in the same family, work place and church. It is so important at times like this to remember what we’re called to. We may feel strongly about the outcome but let’s be those who feel more strongly (and live out) the command to love (John 13:34, Romans 13:8, 1Cor 13:1-3). This will mean that our thoughts, conversations and opinions (in person & on social media) will be infused with kindness, patience, humility and grace (1Cor 13:4-5).
4) Our response is to pray.
Whatever we wanted the outcome to be, we need to be praying for the leaders of our nation (1Timothy 2:2). Let’s pray for wisdom as decisions are made and for leaders who are full of integrity and humility. Let’s also pray for those who follow Jesus and are involved in governing our nation, for their voice to be heard and influence to be felt.