Today I’m sitting alone enjoying my lunch in an art gallery while my youngest is at her dancing class. I’m supposed to be writing my pieces for the devotional book I write for. But instead I’m reading bits and pieces from the fallout of the Referendum.
Last night it struck me why I didn’t really understand the need for reconciliation that the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland has called for. It’s that strange east/west division that exists within Scotland. As a true East Coaster I have no knowledge or experience of the sectarianism that bubbles as you journey along the M8 to Glasgow. I do know that you don’t have to travel far beyond the outer edges of Edinburgh before you first encounter it. However for those who have lived in the West the division because of religion simmers.
I’ve grown up in a world where all are welcome in Christ, and don’t always understand the tension of denomination. This sudden thought then made me think that if the Service of Reconciliation is to be fully understood then perhaps it is in the wrong city. I get the importance of being in the city where political power is held but I wonder if the call for peace and reconciliation needs to be in the midst of a place where division and anger are forefront.
So that’s my first thought this lunchtime.
My other is the realisation that for the first time in a long time I have felt politically engaged, although privately. When I was ordained I let my political party membership lapse, and today I am going to renew it. I feel inspired to play my part in a Scotland where all are valued. I want justice in health care, education and social provision. I want peace, but with someone close to me working in the defence industry I’m also conscious of the need for some jobs.
And then once I’ve signed up, I’m going to write to my local MP and hold him accountable for the promises his party leader made with others. That last minute gasp of promises made as the realisation that a vote was “closer than they thought” is hovering. Gordon Brown may have made a statement this morning offering assurances that promises would be kept. But he is not my MP. After the slow start yesterday it might have been good to hear more than him speak of promise.
Politics in the pulpit. Not from me tomorrow. I’m off to visit Sunday School.
Then it will be back to speaking of the promise of heaven and the justice and mercy Christ instils for us to offer.