Thursday 30 June 2016

Bigger than the EU?

My two little congregations include loved and valued members from lots of back-grounds: Brazilian, Fijian, Finnish, German, Italian, Nigerian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, South African and Zimbabwean. I hope I haven't missed anyone out – and yes, Brits are welcome too! That's not bad two small to medium villages. It's like a foretaste of Heaven, which the Bible describes as containing "a vast multitude, drawn from every tribe and language and people and nation."

So we belong to something that's much bigger than England, Britain, the EU or for that matter any nation or empire that's ever been. They are things but of a moment whereas the Church stretches back two thousand years and forwards for all eternity. That is why Christians cannot take a narrowly nationalistic view of life: our citizenship is in heaven and extends to all who follow Christ – currently some two and a half billion people.

There are many valid reasons why people might be unhappy with the EU as an institution: lack of accountability, too much bureaucracy, trade barriers against the Third World and the like. But one reason that can never be acceptable is fear and hatred of those who are different from us. Fear and hatred are simply not worthy of our glorious Lord and Saviour, who calls us all to belong to His great family and makes us one in His Spirit. Let us therefore continue to love one another, welcome the stranger and take our stand for the Gospel of Mercy and the King of Love.

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