Simon (our vicar), and his wife, Mary Ann, returning on the train that runs the length of Southend pier after walking to the end.
Change and challenge.
The last time I wrote my reflection the United Kingdom was, well, different! What a lot has happened - but the words that resonate now are chaos and division. The EU vote has opened a Pandora’s box within the nation and within the political circles of our nation. It is hard to know how all this will play out, but it will and my prayer is that as a nation we reflect, learn and move forward in unity.
Sadly, I think the example of the debate on Brexit has liberated some of the worst aspects of people’s interaction. The polarisation of opinion and the venom with which some of it was (and still is) delivered seem to have given people freedom to offend, insult and threaten others who do not share their views.
Christianity speaks into the heart of this discontent as a voice of reconciliation, understanding, compassion and peace.
The sad thing is that the voices of those who have marginalised Christianity and sought to victimise those who have a strong faith have honestly misunderstood the message of Christ. So often as they criticise they demonstrate the antithesis of all that Christianity calls us to be. It calls to mind Paul in Colossians 3:12-15 as he urges us to behave in a way fitting to our calling. In Ephesians 5:8-9 Paul calls us to live as the children of light to model the fruit of the light, ‘all that is good, right and true’ (NRSV). Let us reclaim the world for Christ in these challenging times.