At the St Margaret’s service on 29 September 2019, Rev Dr Michael Paterson shared the reflection from which this is an extract.
Our public life this week has been full of the language of disdain, of traitors, of enemies, of surrender and of capitulation. But have you noticed just how much our service today is full of the language of love, of forgiveness, of belonging, of peace, and of hope for the future?
… I am really worried that Brexit has taken us beyond that to what one writer has coined ‘common enemy intimacy’ … “I don’t know you … but I’m glad that you hate the same people I hate, and I’m glad you hate the same things I hate.”
… that’s why I think what we doing here together this morning Is absolutely radical, absolutely outrageous, and absolutely revolutionary. Because, when the world’s story pushes us to call people enemies, what could be more radical than God’s story? …
And, at a time when the world encourages us to view others as traitors, capitulators, and zombies, what could be more outrageous than God’s call to leave the comfort of our seats to wish each other peace, irrespective of whether we voted leave or remain?
… at this crisis point in our history, I think that we who call ourselves Christians need to come together more than ever to do three things: to sing, shake and share.
Because there’s nothing like singing to remind us of the power of our belonging together. There’s nothing like reaching out to people who are not a bit like us to wish them peace, real peace, deep peace, to remind us that we don’t have to fuel divisions but that we can heal them.
And there’s nothing like kneeling at the communion rail with people we would never spend time with the rest of the week, to remind us that, when push comes to shove, we all hunger and thirst for a fuller and better life, not just for ourselves, but for each other and for our world.
So, while the world repeats history, and tries to drag us into war, let’s tell a better story and let’s go on singing, let’s go on shaking and let’s go on sharing.
Read the whole of Michael’s sermon at this link.