Friday, 19 September 2014

No - and yes!

Scotland has voted No to Independence at this time. It was a fairly close run thing. I believe it would be more difficult to move to Independence without a much bigger majority. Healing in a country retaining the Status Quo is probably more achievable than healing in a country where there was only a small majority for independence. I believe that Change requires a bigger mandate although the freedom of democracy decrees otherwise. But what of the future? With the energy of the campaign and the unprecedented level of engagement in the democratic process, can we really hope for change? There are claims that Scottish politics has been changed forever. I would like to think that this is the case. But there are no guarantees and there is no clear pathway to harness the energy that the Referendum has garnered. Promises of change have been made. Declarations of enhanced devolution have been articulated. Time will tell whether those hopes of the Scottish people will be honoured by politicians and by the Westminster government. I do, however, have faith in the people of Scotland to dust themselves down. I have faith that those who hoped that the result would be otherwise will soon return to the level of good humoured banter that is so characteristic of our Nation. Those outcomes are not in doubt.
Throughout the campaign the National Church has called for folk to move forward together whatever the outcome. I know that this is entirely possible in this country that I love. More than that, I believe that people of faith have had a wake up call in this Referendum process. We have been made more aware than ever of the needs and aspirations of our neighbours. We have been incensed at the level of injustice and poverty that sits on our doorstep. And we have been reminded of our call to work alongside and to serve the poor and vulnerable and the marginalised in our own communities. I have faith that we can and will address that with or without a mandate for Independence. Referendum - a wake up call for the government. A wake up call for the church. A wake up call for the people of Scotland and the United Kingdom. In the words of our usual Sunday morning benediction: " We move on from here to love and serve God by loving and serving one another."

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