Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

August 4, 2019: Loving God Back

From Fraser Macnaughton

 

The continuing uncertainty around the prospective withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (known colloquially in the feverish media as Brexit) has led more and respected experts and various think-tanks to conclude that whatever happens, the UK is going to be considerably worse off financially and economically in the near future.

 

Indeed, according to one forecaster, National Institute for Social and Economic Research, the prospect of a “no-deal Brexit,” in which Britain leaves without a negotiated arrangement may have pushed the UK economy into a recession already.

 

What seems to be exercising many commentators is what is considered to be the irrational behaviour and view of many people who seem willing to sacrifice their standard of living and many of the economic benefits of being part of a large free trade group, in order, as is popularly expressed, to “take back control.”

 

The NIESR said there was a one-in-four chance the country is in a recession currently. In the increasing likelihood of a no-deal Brexit, business investment has faltered and the pound has fallen sharply. Arno Hantzsche, senior economist at NIESR, said, “There is a risk that companies, households, even the government may be a little bit complacent this time compared with March [the last deadline] because you had a similar situation before: deadlines were broken but it didn’t come to a no-deal outcome,” he said.

 

This would seem to be counter cultural in a world of incessant consumer demand and constant striving to be better off materially. All the forecasters are of one mind when they explain that the average person in the UK would be worse in the event of a no-deal Brexit. The NIESR think-tank – Britain’s longest-established independent research institute – was of the view that a no-deal Brexit would clog the wheels of British trade with the EU at a moment when the UK is already experiencing a slowdown in growth. It would appear that it is difficult to gloss over the view that however one looks at it, there will not be much economic joy in such an exit.

 

Explore…Luke 12:13–21

  • How do you view the story above? Might there be an element of gospel truth in the apparent fact that many UK people are not putting their personal wealth first?
  • Jesus’ message was countercultural to his time. To what extent do you think that world politics is experiencing a kickback against the prevailing orthodoxy of today?
  • Share with your group a bigger perspective that looks beyond one country’s relatively minor economic woes compared to the massive structural imbalances in the global economy illustrated by the widening gap between rich and poor.

 

Prayer…

We recall an old mantra: “live simply that others may simply live.” Telling words for our times when so many of our brothers and sisters suffer economically. May we take time to examine how we live, commit to living more simply, that others may have more of life in abundance. Amen.

 

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