Spirit Sightings

August 7, 2016: Faith – Into the Unknown

From Fraser Macnaughton

There are many, many stories circulating surrounding the recent vote by the people of the UK to leave the European Union. Principally because no one really knows what will happen or what the British economic and political landscape will look like outside of an institution of which it has been a member for over 40 years, people have very little faith in either politicians or the media to tell them what things will be like.

On an almost daily basis, stories emerge that can be only speculation, such is the general uncertainty, thus making it almost impossible for people to put their faith in any pronouncements. For example, Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, has said that independence may offer Scotland the greatest stability while the rest of the UK faces upheaval after the vote to leave the EU. Or budget airline Ryanair is cutting the number of flights it offers from London Stansted and shifting its focus towards growth at airports outside the UK. The Dublin-based airline said it was rethinking its operations against a backdrop of heightened political and economic uncertainty triggered by the UK’s decision to quit the EU.

One story that seems to have more concrete credence is regarding the suspension by the government of payments, from a European development fund, which were made to businesses allowing them to develop and promote economic growth in their local areas. Some £3.7 million from the European Regional Development Fund had been agreed to be matched by the UK Treasury in March, allowing businesses in London to plan for their future development on a sounder financial footing. Much of the money was to aid start-up businesses in the technical sector. John Spindler, of the not-for-profit company Capital Enterprise, a firm established by universities and others to assist small companies to grow quickly, wrote a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in which he said “it was with alarm that we heard … that, because of the referendum result, the Department of Communities and Local Government has notified the GLA [Greater London Authority] to inform Capital Enterprise that ERDF projects like CASTS, were to be put on ‘pause’ for an indefinite period.”

Explore… Hebrews 11:1–3, 8–16

  • Share ways in which you have put your faith in something or somebody and have been let down.
  • In what ways do you think we, as a society or in your own community, put “blind” faith in systems of government or institutions, including the church?
  • Can you find stories in the Bible where people who put faith in God have felt abandoned or let down, and/or also justified and supported?
  • Think of some of the things in which you put your faith in life. Do ever review or appraise these?

Prayer links…

  • We pray for all those who have lost faith. Who have been disappointed in the church, or the government, family or friends. May they not be discouraged to find new people, views, beliefs in which their faith can be restored. Amen.

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