Rev. Ian Cruickshank’s Thought for this week 22.08.2019

22 August 2019 There are less than 80 days before, as it stands, Brexit will occur. For the past three years, Brexit has dominated the politics and conversation of people in the UK and has been on the radar, in some form or another, of several other countries in the European Union. Depending on who you ask, the consequences of Brexit will be, similar to falling off a cliff, the most catastrophic event that could happen to the UK with unemployment rising, shortage of necessitates such as food or medicines or, it will be the greatest opportunity the country has had since the days of the industrial revolution to show entrepreneurship leadership and what made the UK such a world force in the arena of commerce. What is certain, is that life will be affected for those in the UK and others in the European Union for good or bad there will be changes in people’s lives, covering all aspects of their daily living. Even after 31st October if Brexit does occur in whatever form, in a very real sense it will only be the beginning of an event, not the finale. Here are some verses from the gospel of Luke which was part of the set readings from a few weeks ago and here’s what it says. Sell your possessions and give alms. …….For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. When reading this we tend to focus on the idea of providing for others less fortunate than ourselves. Sell your possessions and give alms. Which is true, but looking at other parts of the reading, the reason for selling possessions is to give freedom from earthly assets. To have a focus which is not encumbered with earthly belongings. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. The passage moves on to say……… See to it that your garments are fastened about yourself with a belt and the lamps, that they are burning constantly The words used evoke important scenes from Hebrew history and culture. See to it that your garments are fastened about yourself with a belt. To the original hearers, it would have recalled one of the greatest moments in the history of Israel when they gained their freedom from Egypt. For generations they had been enslaved with no sign of rescue, they cried out to God who sent Moses as their deliverer. Before their release from Egypt they are told to get ready for a speedy departure, so tuck your cloak into your belt so that you can move quickly. Things will happen fast. Have lamps that are burning constantly, simply put is a warning to be sure that if you have to move quickly and it’s at night-time, you won’t be stumbling in the dark, but will be able to see and go. All this instruction is preparation for one event as the passage continues with, And as for you, be like men looking for their own master when he should return from the marriage feast, so that, having come and knocked, immediately they might open to him. That event is the return of the master, which we know will happen, but not when, but which we need to be prepared for. The image is relating to the second advent, the return of Christ to earth, and this time his return is to finally begin putting into place the restoration of all things in their proper order. Heaven fully knew and experienced on earth. I’ve mentioned two events and one of them surpasses the other. If our treasure is fixed on the heavenly it will enable us to handle the earthly. Less than 80 days to go, and we can have a form of readiness to handle whatever Brexit will bring, by having an assurance of a certain future, that comes with an awareness of God’s design and his fulfilment, not men. Blessing keeps and live the faith.

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