A View From The Vicarage, March 2018
One of the words that seems to be dominating the news at the moment is the word “certainty”. In the aftermath of the Referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union, it seems that what everybody requires is certainty. A Government that will tell them, I suspect exactly what they want to hear and I further suspect that in many cases the certainty which would be most welcome is of the most depressingly gloomy economic news that can be imagined. The trouble for those doom mongers and pundits is that as Benjamin Franklin observed there are only two certainties in life “death and taxes.”
Uncertainty, therefore, is an intrinsic part of what it means to be a human person; each and everyone of us lives with uncertainty each and every day of our lives; if you’re in any doubt just consider for a moment the number of people who’ve faced some traumatic news and tell you “it all came out of the blue.” Life is precious and as David Attenborough has been reminding us spectacularly again; it’s also unbelievably fragile. We need to rejoice in life but also protect life.
For despite the uncertainty, we have much to rejoice over and much to be deeply grateful for. Yes, the international news may seem to bear out those prescient words from Sean O’Casey’s play “Juno and the Paycock”: “the whole world’s in a state of chassis” (sounds best with an Irish accent!), but you can still marvel at the starlit sky or a glorious sunrise. We can hear accounts of the appalling cruelty that some human beings manage to inflict upon others, but we can also rejoice at the acts of kindness done each and every day here in our own communities and in others across the globe.
We can witness the devastating consequences of natural disaster but wonder at the intricate beauty of a snowflake – or ponder how a snowdrop manages to survive.
As you read this we’re continuing our Lenten journey through the traumatic events of Holy Week towards the triumphant joy of the resurrection on the first Easter Day. For Jesus’ disciples however much they may have craved certainty in those heady, mesmerizing days, they did’nt find it, and when they thought they had in the ignominious failure of the first Good Friday, the ultimate certainty was hours away and very, very different indeed.
Please do pray for our Government and Parliament that they will be given the wisdom and courage to deliver the very best outcome for the peoples of the United Kingdom and also the remaining E.U. member states.
For each of us, as we live with uncertainty have faith in God who from the darkest hours of the night always ushers in the dawn.
With my love and prayers as always,