With thanks to the Revd Louise Holliday for this month’s letter
As I write this letter it is the middle of September and the news on Radio 4 is providing the latest update on events in Parliament. Today the highest court in Scotland has ruled in favour of the cross-party group of politicians who challenged the Prime Minister’s move to suspend parliament. MPs are now demanding that parliament be recalled, with the PM expected to appeal.
Who knows what will happen next; we live in unprecedented times.
Brexit, the dreaded ‘B’ word, is a topic of conversation that most of us wish to avoid. It has polarised our politics and our communities with families even coming to blows over the issue. There is a very real sense of fear and anxiety for many whose livelihood is being, or will be, directly affected by our withdrawal from the EU. Perhaps the most frustrating aspect of the issue is that we can do nothing, at this point in time, to influence what happens next. We cast our vote at the referendum in 2016 and now we must step back and let the government and parliament manage the outcome of that vote. We must hope that, as the dust settles, life will resume, and we can adjust to the new reality.
Hope springs eternal, as the saying goes, and there will be many of us who are tired out by the political tension and are just hoping for the day when our politicians are focussed on the many other issues that are impacting our lives and the lives of those we love.
Hope – the word we use in any number of contexts when we don’t have control over future events. We hope for a warm summer, for positive test results and safe journeys. In fact, we spend most of our lives hoping for one thing or another, either to happen or not.
Hope is a word that appears often in the bible too. In the letter to the Hebrews we read, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we don’t see.” This verse carries with it all of the confidence that comes with knowing for sure, without question, what we have been promised by God in His Word. All of the actions of the men and women of faith recorded in Hebrews 11 were made possible because of faith based in their confident hope in God. So, biblical hope is a reality and not a feeling. Biblical hope carries no doubt. It is a sure foundation upon which we base our lives, believing that God is faithful and always keeps His promises.
As believers, we are also called to give an answer for the hope that is within us to any who would ask and many folk across the diocese did just that during the oneLIFE mission last weekend. It was great to play our part as we offered a warm welcome to visitors and shared our stories of faith.
In the midst of all the uncertainty in the world of politics it was refreshing to be reminded of the real hope we share as disciples of Jesus Christ and to add our prayers to the many said across our deanery and diocese that more people would come to experience that hope.
Over the coming weeks and months let us hold firm to the hope we have in Christ as we pray for positive and just outcomes for our world, our nation and our community.
With love and prayer,