The word “referendum” comes from the Latin and means ” something to be carried back.” It’s a word that has been in the news for months . Yesterday the excitement here in Scotland was almost palpable, my former neighbour rode his motorbike (trike) up the middle of the road with the Satire ,a Yes flag and the Royal Standard of Scotland flowing out behind him like a figure from a “Braveheart” movie. We did I must admit get emotional.
I have only lived in Scotland for about 14 years, my youngest daughter has lived here for most of her life and has a Scottish accent. I was married to a Scot and most of my friends are Scots and after conversations with many of them I decided to vote “YES”.
The atmosphere in the small town where I live is quite sombre this morning. I was stricken with a virus which stopped me sleeping last night, so I listened to Radio 4 and became more and more aware that the vote was not going the way I had hoped. Although over a million people voted for Independence from England.
I was reading from the book of Nehemiah this morning in the Old Testament. He was a bit of a political hero. From a position of leadership he demonstrated perseverance as he saw changes that were needed to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and relieve the suffering of it’s people. He was humble and passionate and was brought to tears by the troubles of his country.
For many days he fasted and prayed and he felt compelled to act. He therefore went to the King to tell him how he felt and what he was inclined to do about it. He went through great hardships and experienced great opposition throughout his project. Just taking it to the King was hard enough and he risked his life.
Nehemiah led by example, he lent money without charging interest, he worked “hands on” along side his workers, as well as doing the administration. He was not paid, but instead used money that he had saved to house and feed those with him. Politicians could learn much from his example.
He acknowledged that all institutions on earth are under the sovereignty of God and he used political structures to get things done.
As Christians we come under earthly authority, we have to accept the majority decisions, this is democracy,but we have the option to pray, to use the power of the name of Jesus to bring about change for the good of others. We can rebuild cities, come against oppression of the poor and “seek first the Kingdom of God.”
This is what we can “carry back”, the knowledge that we are all unique human beings , loved and forgiven by our King, and we can step up to the challenge to change the things that are hurtful to others. A “Yes” vote for love.
( Thanks to” Christians in Politics”, where I researched some of this)