This is a blog post that specifically relates to the Scottish Independence Referendum taking place today. As I type this, Scotland is out in force to make her decision – will it be a “Yes” to Independence from the rest of the United Kingdom, or will it be a No to stay firmly put? I have already cast my vote today. This post is not about my own opinion – and I am not going to share here how I voted. For me, the decision was a “no-brainer” at first. Then I listened to a few arguments from the other side, and for the first time I could see the validity of their argument too. Either way, I have not been very vocal in sharing my opinion ( which for me is very uncharacteristic) simply because I had not prayed about it, and I wanted to make sure that firstly 1. I was making the right decision, and secondly 2. That God’s will would prevail. So now I have prayed about it a little, and I have voted but I am still not very confident about the amount of prayer I have invested. I like to saturate all my decisions in prayer – and clearly this is a huge decision for the whole country.
However, from the time I have been able to spend with God on this topic and a little reflection, this is what has occurred to me. In this issue, either way we win. Either way we ALL win. This is the case because this MUST be the case. We cannot accept anything else. The fate of Scotland, the fate of the entire United Kingdom, rests not on the outcome of this vote, but rather in the hands of God, administered via the hands of the church.
You know what occurred to me about this whole vote? The fact that Scotland could even be contemplating Independence, the fact that the YES side could have performed so strongly in the polls as to almost close the gap entirely with the default, existing NO position, all of this is a huge wake-up call for the Church in the UK . I have made no secret of the fact that I think that faith in the UK is mired in spiritual complacency. I think that this demonstrates it. Things have degenerated so much for ordinary people that it feels to me as if ordinary people are grasping at different solutions as if to seek relief. My point about the Church is that I believe that it is our spiritual complacency that has let things degenerate to such an extent that ordinary people are finding things so difficult. And this is what occurred to me about the YES campaign: The promise seems to be that if only we could become independent, get rid of Westminster, go our own way, then everything will be fine! The NHS will be saved, there will be plenty of jobs, the economy will thrive. There is almost this vision of utopia that has been painted, that has been so easy to buy into! If Scotland does choose “YES”, then I hope as strongly as anyone that all these plans will be realised.
However, what I am thinking is that either way, we as the Church have to regain our spiritual fervour, especially our prayer potency. I’m thinking that either way, if we as Christians fail to pray, whether Scotland stays or goes, things will just steadily get worse. If Scotland does stay, then if the Church remains prayerless, then things will simply deteriorate further for the whole of the UK, and I can almost guarantee that we will be revisiting the Independence question 10 years from now. Alternatively, if Scotland does go today, then if the church remains prayerless, then the promised Scottish utopia will emphatically fail to materialise, and it might become a hotbed of nationalistic sentiment, while the rest of the UK similarly crumbles. Either way, we lose.
On the other hand, if Christians heed this wake-up call, and fall our on faces, and seek our God, then either way we can all win! If Scotland stays in the UK, then with passionate prayer from the Church we in Scotland can strengthen our ties with the rest of the UK, and press on to collectively reap the benefits of unity. On the other hand, if Scotland does go, then with the prayer of the Church it could forge its own proud identity as a strong new country, while the rest of the UK thrives alongside it, and pragmatic partnerships are hammered out regarding the currency and other existing ties to make the most of historical strengths. So you see, in this way, either way we all win. I don’t know about you, but I am planning to win. But you see, it does not depend on the vote, it depends on us, the Church. Let us stop looking to political decisions to make all the difference in our lives. Let us remember that we as the Church are the salt and light of society. So come on Church,
Let’s Do This!
2 Chronicles 7v14:
14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Photo of United Kingdom from Pixabay