“It’s back to the Bible—or back to the Jungle” – Evangelist Luis Palau
God is not an author of confusion hence, in the midst and time of our national gravity, we should not be distracted by rowdy hype or ‘by embattled debate or media frenzy.’ As we prayerfully prepare for the Brexit vote today, a decision time for our nation at the Parliament, Westminster, The Methodist Covenant Service is scheduled hold today in The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft in Parliament, Westminster. I believe, this is very prophetic and God ordained. At the crossroads of decision or critical time of any nation or church, the economy of Heaven provides us a way to follow. We are called to be part of the solution and not the problem. According to Richard Bewes, ‘… in the economy of Heaven – the saints of God … ultimately play the key part in the shaping of the future. We are not forsaken because God is in control. God has given to us a great nation founded on principles and truth from the Bible, God’s Word. All we need now are men and women who will honour it and lead us back to God again.
Jeremiah’s words spoke into his own era and indeed into ours suggests a divine direction for the healing of our nation. We are called to “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it” (Jer 6:16). The reflection is that Jeremiah’s words to his people at the crossroads of decision 2600 years ago have their application in our own day, especially the Brexit turmoil. In such a time as this, we are commanded to stand at our crossroads with reference to Jeremiah’s painting of the picture and images of a nation in crisis, ‘a seething boiling pot, a smashed water jar, a wooden yoke and a basket of figs.’ Our stand in such a time as this summons us to the truth that “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength” (Isaiah 30:15). God is calling and saying to us as a nation to prayerfully stand ‘taking steady and sober stock of our strategic calling as citizens of Heaven (Phil 3:20-21). According to Rev Dr Martyn Atkins, ‘our land needs healing. Our sin needs confessing and forgiving.’ We are called to prayerfully stand not only to look and confess our sinful regard of the Lord, we are called to stand with yearning in our hearts as God’s people for God’s saving power.
Using the words of prophet Jeremiah, let us “Ask for the ancient paths … where the good way is.” The way forward is to go back, hence God is calling us to stand upon ‘the proven paths that were known of old.’ God is asking us for a return to those ancient paths in order ‘to engage in that God-given way by which we cooperate with the very purposes of Heaven itself; and we ask supremely by prayer and obedience.’
Prayer: O Lord, ‘forgive us for wanting our own way and making our own paths. Forgive us for fence-walking, or for ignoring completely the truths that can so easily set us free. Deliver us from mindless quarrels and destinations that lead us nowhere, but away from You. Free us from divisiveness, and melt our hardened hearts to love, not hate, and to heal, not debate.’
O Lord, help us to desire righteousness more than rights, and to mirror sacrifice more than selfishness. Help our leaders to be quick to admit failure, but ready to rebound in persistent resilience.