You know that feeling when you take on a new job and you just hope that it starts as it means to go on and that you can get some great early results?
Ah. Smiled too soon.
It may be a tough road ahead, Justin, but I think we all knew that.
In the meantime, don’t fret about us women. We will go on running much of what happens in churches, supporting families and individuals, working out our own faith, crying on each others’ shoulders and finding reasons to look on the bright side. Even – dare I suggest – if we don’t belong to the C of E. Thankfully, God is not restricted to working through Anglican means, and the church in the UK is far larger than that. It is disappointing that tomorrow’s headlines will not do God any favours and may discourage people on the fringes of faith from taking him seriously, and that is my major concern with the outcome today.
But a cursory glance at history tells us that we often need to wait for gains and blessings, even when we feel they are justified immediately. How unfair that Abraham and Sarah should wait so many years for a child. How wrong that Joseph should be enslaved and imprisoned. How frustrating that a generation should die in the desert. How maddening that the promised Messiah should have taken so long to come. How painful that slavery should not have been abolished sooner. How humiliating that major denominations should disagree on what God wants women to do in serving him.
And how we think in such short timescales.
It doesn’t matter which voting system we have an issue with on a given day – presidents, police commissioners, politicians or peak-viewing performers – if we aren’t listening to God a democratic system is only that. Not theocratic, but flawed by human lust for glitz, immediacy, selfishness, narrow-mindedness and confusion. Why on earth are we trusting decisions to Other People?
The God I serve weeps at injustice. But he has also provided a means for the world to rise out from under the shackles of it, in the Church.
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
So, let’s walk humbly. Let’s get on our knees and put the voting system back where it belongs. Let’s listen to God’s voice.
And let’s be merciful, listening to one another and loving one another, even when we do not love each other’s actions.
And let’s live a life acting for justice for all, not confining it to naves and altars.