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Scotland says No

September 19, 2014

I woke up this morning with Scotland still part of my national family. It was a close thing but I was relieved. I also recognise that there will be many who are bitterly disappointed this morning. This is not a time for wild celebrations, but a time for sober reflection. This whole process was however a triumph for Scotland. A record 84.5% of Scottish voters turned out to vote showing their love of their country. For the first time 16 and 17 year olds were able to vote and they showed that they are old enough to have a genuine say in how their country is run. This is also likely to have huge implications across the other countries of the UK, particularly here in England. Interesting times lie ahead but I hope that this vote in Scotland marks the beginning of a new period of cooperation and celebration of our differences, within the Union.

I hope that my church, The Church of England, can learn from this too. Maybe even the churches across the UK can give a lead for once. I hope and pray that we who claim to be one body in Christ can learn to behave as such. This means that we need to support and love one another, even though we are as different from one another as an eye is different from a foot (1 Corinthians 12). What a witness to Jesus we could give if we could really live this message from the Spirit through Paul.

I pray that the Church of England, and our sister churches, can move forward as a loving family rather than as competing authoritarian structures. Again I pray that we really take our Bible seriously and listen to Paul in Ephesians 4.1-6, “…I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

As children of God, if we truly believe this how can we do anything but celebrate our differences as we live together, love together, learn from one another and show the love of Christ to the world. I pray that Spirit filled we can show out country that it is possible to disagree and still work together as one.

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