Had a great conversation in which my explanation of the Brexit negotiations (The first call for the EU negotiations is to preserve the interests of the member states and those who live and conduct business in it) was met with: "But don't they know who we are?"
I don't think I'd want that put into the mix after watching 'I, Daniel Blake', 'Viceroy's House' and 'United Kingdom' because I fear they might already know enough :-(
Today saw the final funeral of the month, preparations for the second ADCM of the year, the last home Communion of the week (been a good week - managed to get round to eight households), a generally strange Kid's Club (for reasons I can't quite put a finger on) and a bit of the old spiritual warfare - or as we have it in the vicaring business: "A pretty ordinary day!"
The UK, having decided it is no longer playing in Europe, is expected to resolve a number of issues before the European nations start talking about trade. Now I can't see what this is any surprise as I'd want to know whether I want you in my house before I start to talk about working with you, so why should U.K. / EU relationships be any different?
As the pawns begin to be moved I notice that there is a hint of attitude that says that Europe could do very nicely without the UK's participation in security and defence matters, which means,"Don't threaten to take your toys away, because we'll merely say "Not a problem, bye!" and move on!"
I am saddened by this whole thing and don't expect this, like any divorce, to be a joyous and positive experience for either of the parties, but the stance, "Do you know who we are - you can't live without us," is weak and destined to see tears before bedtime. This is not the opportunity for us to 'become great again' but the opportunity to go it alone is terms of trade whilst adhering to EU rules and regulations (if we want to trade in the EU that is) without having any say in their creation. This is not a regaining of independence and the days when the world was painted red on the maps. This is an opportunity for a different UK (should that be England and Wales?) where the disenfranchised, the poor, homeless and unemployed can be dealt with properly - but all I hear is immigration.
Today has been a day where God's call on this nation to seek Justice, exhibit mercy and live as a nation who, rather than ask,"Don't why know who we are?" instead lives humbly because we know who we are.
God calls us to welcome those who are strangers in our midst and we have the instruction to treat them as if they were nationals: To treat them as we'd wish to be treated. A grain of corn first has to die before it can bring forth a harvest. Perhaps there is something about our nation that needs to die before we can become something that flourishes and is fruitful too?
Lord, for the encounters today: I praise You.
For the places Your light has shone because I have carried Your light, I give you thanks.
For a nation which seeks to leave and yet retain all the benefits of membership, I pray for an awakening and an awareness of what we have begun and pray for the relationships with those outside our nation and for the relationships within it.
Lord, graciously hear us and take not Your Holy Spirit from us.