These are times of what feels like unprecedented political, economic and social chaos. We are told we are very divided as a nation. In many ways we surely are: along the relatively new political lines of leave and remain; but less obviously we are divided in terms of wealth and poverty, faith and no faith, connected and unconnected, young and old.
We experience these divisions in our community, in our families and places of work/study. Difference is good, division can feel more dangerous and hostility and conflict can follow. And so what can we do about this as Christians?
I believe this is a time for us to make sure we really do let people see the ways of Jesus in how we live and what we say. So, now is a time when it is good to keep worshipping together, inviting others to do so, taking all opportunities to talk about the Prince of Peace in the midst of all this disturbance.
I believe this is a time for us to do all the practical things we can to be welcoming in such a hostile environment: things like ESOL or Place of Welcome and Foodbank or Job Club or Super Study Space. And it is timely that we are becoming a church recognised as a Church of Sanctuary. It was important also that some people from our church joined other Church leaders and community leaders in standing side by side with the people at the Slade Road Ghausia Mosque in order to show our support in the face of attacks on their building.
Sometimes the way the world is can feel so overwhelming and we can feel like there is nothing we can do. But there are things we can do – even small things! We need to keep on doing what we know we already know we should be doing. But even more so, I believe it is the time for us to “up our game”, to be more proactive in letting the Christ-light shine in our words and our actions. Our country needs us!