The referendum result demands us to question why and what next. The imperative is reconciliation of “Leavers” and “Remainers”.
Referendum and Reconciliation
My previous blog, From Referendum to Reconciliation, highlighted the certainty that the results would leave many people disappointed, certainly for 48.1% of the voters. So it has, and I am one of them. But Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians set out our call to the ministry of reconciliation:
“God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them.”
2 Corinthians 5: 20, The Message
In our churches and in our communities, it is vital that we follow the Beatitude:
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5: 9, NRSV
Why did Vote Leave win? The result has already made us a poorer nation financially. Any reflection on the distribution of the results shows us a social divide between those who are thriving and those who are challenged. The thriving are more satisfied, and more confident with the global community. The challenged may feel excluded, are dissatisfied and feel under threat by cross-border mobility. The prophet Micah famously provided the framework of religion and social action.
“He has told you, O mortal, what is good:
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God.”
Micah 6:8, NRSV
The prophets passionately emphasise the consequences of not living by justice and righteousness. Perhaps we have just seen an example.
Taking care for God’s world and his children will need core principles in a reform programme.
- So far 2016 is the warmest worldwide for at least 800,000 years. Tending to the health of God’s planet is essential.
- The injustice felt by the disaffected in our own countries is a consequence that must be rectified.
- Our responsibility is not restricted to our own boundaries: justice is worldwide.
- We must exercise kindness and humility to each other as we work through reforms.