FROM THE CURATE, ROBIN THWAITES
By the time I went to Church on Wednesday 6th July, the resignation count for the Conservative party had reached the 40’s and it looked impossible for Boris Johnson to remain in post.
I had spent the day trying to work while watching Prime Ministers Questions in the background, followed by the grilling he received at the Commons Liaison Committee.
‘O Lord, open thou our lips’ I began, Psalm 119 (thankfully not all of it, beautiful as it is) and a rather difficult reading from Ezra before we say the Magnificat together; ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord… He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away.’ On to the New Testament lesson, ‘Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not claim to be wiser than you are. Do not repay anyone evil for evil but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all.’ (Romans 12.14-17).
Truth be told, I smirked a little as I read these words, more than a couple of times in recent history Evening Prayer has been strikingly poignant.
As we left the church that evening, conversations with the congregation were inevitably about the recent events and what we all thought was going to happen. I returned home and put on the 24 hour news channel and watched. At around 23:30 it was clear nothing was going to happen this night so I went to sleep and woke up the next day with the news still playing.
The resignation count now at 50 the news was interrupted by the political correspondent answering a call from Downing Street. The Prime Minister will step down!
I must admit, the reading from the night before was not the first thing I thought of when I heard the news. But, regardless of political leanings, a person’s life has changed today and it was clearly not a change they wanted to make.
Some will have benefitted from Boris Johnson’s time in leadership, others will have suffered.
‘Weep with those who weep, rejoice with those who rejoice.’ But how can you do this with integrity, if the reason for both joy and sadness are caused by the same incident? ‘Do not claim to be wiser than you are.’
We cannot know everything. As much as we may try to extend our knowledge, the media is designed to please those who read it, online social sites are set up to keep you there and you choose whose posts you see.
We choose our relationships on shared views and opinions and the written press is geared towards the left or right of political sides. We can only know our own situations, and we may weep or we may rejoice. What we can do is care for each other. The search for the new Prime Minister is going on and the media, both physical and virtual, will be giving us all the ‘gossip’ about the candidates and telling us who we should and shouldn’t be cheering for.
What we must remember is that whatever we think, some will be weeping while others will cheer, so in the words of Bill and Ted, “Be excellent to each other!” or from the New Testament lesson that evening: ‘Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.’