As I write, Britain has voted to leave the EU. The pound has been tumbling against the dollar all night, down to 1985 levels. No-one knows what will happen when the FTSE opens at 8am; anything from 5-10% wiped off the value. The Japanese are panicked because the Yen has suddenly surged.
I genuinely worry for our nation this morning. The simmering resentment that has been coming for a long time (if it's a wake-up call to anyone then you've been asleep for too long) has finally erupted. We'll need amazingly wise and compassionate leadership to hold us together. I fear for the poorest and most vulnerable in our society if we are beginning a bumpy 5-10 year journey to a new relationship with the EU (and the rest of the world).
And yet in Morning Prayer today we pray:
Blessed are you, Sovereign God of all,
to you be praise and glory for ever.
In your tender compassion
the dawn from on high is breaking upon us
to dispel the lingering shadows of night.
As we look for your coming among us this day,
open our eyes to behold your presence
and strengthen our hands to do your will,
that the world may rejoice and give you praise.
Blessed be God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Blessed be God for ever.
It doesn't feel like the "dawn from on high is breaking upon us". It feels more like a creeping gloom. And yet, God's name is to be praised.
Today we remember the birth of John the Baptist. A voice calling in the wilderness. I'm sure lots of people feel like they've been calling in a wilderness this morning. And yet, and yet...
Morning Prayer was hard today. I didn't feel the words I was saying for much of it. But that only makes it more important. I hope we can all pray the Collect for John the Baptist today though:
by whose providence your servant John the Baptist
was wonderfully born,
and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Saviour
by the preaching of repentance:
lead us to repent according to his preaching
and, after his example,
constantly to speak the truth, boldly to rebuke vice,
and patiently to suffer for the truth's sake;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.