“‘Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.’”
“For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.”
What sense do we make of, and how might we respond to, the turmoil labelled “Brexit”? When we see the injustice of universal credit or the current identity crisis among children and young adults, how are we to understand our role and significance in affecting the future of our nation? How shall we bear witness to the love and transformative nature of God in a context where Christian values are at best marginalised?
It is important for us to recall from Scripture the faithfulness of the sovereignty of God and the significance of humble, faithful witness from among His saints. To be salt and light among a people who have lost their way and become confused and corrupted in their values, is the calling of those who name Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. A commitment to pursuing justice for others, as it is expressed by Jesus Christ, where mercy and care for the foreigner and the marginalised really matters; and where such mercy, care and justice are humbly brought together into a truth that finds expression through the living church of Jesus Christ.
The challenge of the present turmoil is a clear call to all who would follow the path of baptism into Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection. We are summoned to the crucible of transformation. Into values and lifestyles that pattern something different, something distinctive, something that speaks of resurrection hope through pursuing the descending path walked by Jesus Christ.
What does that look like? What does the Lord require of us? Micah answers, “to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” Therefore let us pray for clarity and good governance in our nation; let us speak up when we begin to recognise patterns of injustice and warped values; let us encourage those who show compassion and tenderness but let us also seek Christ’s pattern of personal and congregational living, daily conforming to the pattern of the Cross. Therein lies the hope of resurrection and renewed life for our nation and all those we seek to love and witness to in Jesus’ name.