Lord now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation which the has prepared.
From the Gospel of Luke The beginning of the Song of Simeon when he saw the baby Jesus aged 40 days at the purification customs in the temple.
Known as the Nunc Dimittis it used at Christian funerals the world over, the letting go of our loved one into a new life, releasing them from the attachments of this life. Letting go is very often the only way forward for the future. Hanging onto our children as children when we should let them go to grow up, or at least the next stage of their development. Letting go our loved one on the death bed, letting go of dying relationships, letting go of the past.
It doesn’t mean we like it, (though of course in some circumstances we do) when we let go of someone we love, we hate it and for ourselves don’t want to. Saying goodbye is sometimes the most difficult time of our lives, in whatever circumstances. Goodbye to an event, a person, a story, a chapter, a union.
We have said goodbye to the European Union this week. A relationship that is now over and some will be glad and some sad. The debates as to the authenticity, the reasons why, the manner of the decision, and all that have raged for the last few years; now we are in it, no point in rejoicing or lamenting, now we must come together and build a future. But the reasons why we were either for or against BREXIT are important as to how we approach the negotiations post BREXIT. You were all aware that I was anti Brexit, indeed that I am a remoaner. Why? Not for political reasons of control, no politician has control over me. Not for financial reasons as to the economy because I don’t think anyone really knows how we will react economically. And we will never know because we shall be comparing what is with guessing with what may have been.
And if finances and politics were your reasons for getting out of the EU, good luck to you. For me they weren’t the criteria, and they shouldn’t be the foundations of how we negotiate and build the future. Instead we need to look at our faith and for today I will take with broad brush strokes the theological principle, the Biblical principle and our spiritual principle to act as a prism for us to understand how we need to build the future.
Theoloigcally we believe in a trinitarian God, one entity with three parts. Therefore theologically we know that if we are made in the image of our creator we are about finding unity in our disparateness, so although we are no longer in the EU club, we are still called to find a unity in our differences.
Biblically from Paul- we are all one, eg: Galatians 3) to the Old Testament and the division into the northern and southern kingdoms we know that being one gives us better foundations, because once we fragment we continue to fragment, and in building a nation like Nehemiah was empowered to do, we need to find a common unity. Jesus said also, if they are not against us then they are for us. He could have been talking about the established Church.
Spiritually we are social beings. We come together to worship, together, to learn and grow from and with each other. We are not in isolation, never have been and Never will be until humanity is in its last forty years of life and then maybe just maybe we won’t be social beings anymore, but that of course would assume the nonexistence of dogs as mans best friend.
So leave politics and finances out of it, we are called as the Easter People to find unity in our differences, to hope in our desperateness. Saying goodbye is not always easy, and when we mark it with some form of liturgy we have a foundation block with with to move on to build the future. Saying goodbye in itself without recognising the importance of the occasion means we cannot lay the foundation block for the future.
Marking, recognising, and signifying the moment the goodbye gives it its true importance. So todays service is marks, recognises and signify’s our goodbyes, whatever we are saying goodbye to, so when we let go we truly do so, not lamenting our pasts but firmly resolved to build our future based on the learning foundation blocks of the past.