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31.01.2020

Business as Usual?

Big Ben won’t bong, but time will roll on regardless and Britain will leave the European Union at 11pm on Friday 31 January 2020. It will be the end of one of the most significant political processes of our times.

How we feel about that and the new era that lies ahead will depend on a host of well-rehearsed and hotly-contested factors, which will not disappear overnight.

Noting that Christians ‘in good conscience continue to hold a wide range of views about Brexit’, leaders of church denominations have encouraged prayers for peace and reconciliation. Tweeting a prayer every day this week, Justin Welby notes the importance of ‘praying for our country as we move into a new season of challenge and opportunity’.

How, then, do we navigate this moment?

The slogan from Christians in Politics – ‘decisions are made by those who show up’ – offers a helpful prompt. It reminds us not just to ‘show up’ when it’s time to vote or debate, but to ‘show up’ in daily life too.

Many Christians are on the frontline in the world of politics itself, but politics affects us all, wherever we find ourselves – the teacher in the classroom, the cleaner in the hospital, the parent in the home.

Every sphere – education, business, economics, the media, law, health, family – can be influenced for the good by the presence of Christians. These are the everyday places where we are able to build relationships, seek justice, model reconciliation, make a gracious stand for the truth, live and speak as messengers of the gospel. And we do so not to get what we want, but as an overflow of our love for God and other people.

So, however we feel about the turn of the clock later this evening, we can move forward purposefully. Let’s pray for the Government and for our local MPs. Let’s ask trusted people to help us think through issues from a Christian perspective. Let’s inform MPs of matters that concern us – not simply the narrow range of topics where people expect us to speak out, but on other things too – education, health, unemployment, environment, immigration.

Let’s get involved where we’re able to do so. And let’s recognise that the best changes will be brought about by demonstrating through our lives that there is a better way to do business as usual.

Antony Billington
Theology Advisor, LICC

Author

Antony Billington

Comments

  1. Thanks I am in local government as a Borough Councillor

    By Beryl Hunwicks - 31st January 2020
  2. Here! Here! Well said Antony. Thanks for the reminder. (Not the remainder ?)

    By Daphne Clifton - 31st January 2020
  3. It concerns me how politically correct I must be when doing an assembly in a non Christian school. Telling biblical stories and there meaning is becoming harder with rules of inclusivity and diversity.
    Christianity is being squeezed out of our society, I feel it’s just a tick box exercise for schools.

    By Patricia Stringer - 31st January 2020
  4. For me it is a day of mixed feelings. I was born just after VE Day. My parents told me of the sense of relief and expectation of a new future with a Europe free of tyranny. In my professional life I have lived and worked in Europe and believe me it was far easier once we joined the EU. I don’t look forward to joining the ‘The others’ line at Immigration in Europe or of having to file an E Visa even for a short visit. Even worse could be a Customs officer go slow in France, which happens quite frequently, and going by car could be a whole new experience unless the Government negotiates a new class for the UK that makes us almost EU citizens when visiting.
    On the other hand the increasing Federalisation of Europe was worrying.

    By David - 31st January 2020
  5. Thank you.

    By Sue Endacott - 1st February 2020

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