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What a joke

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way... Isaiah 53.6


"We must be the laughing stock of the world," remarked my neighbour in the queue at the Coop yesterday. She was eying the newspaper stand, with all the front pages featuring a morose former First Minister protesting her innocence. I'm not sure whether my neighbour was referring to the low repute of our politics or that we have nothing better to think about. Either way it does feel as if the nation has lost its way, caught between a lack of confidence in ourselves and a nationalist government which seems obsessed by "wokery".


The trouble is that when you favour special interests you alienate the mainstream and sow the seeds of division so that, in the end, there is no mainstream, just a range of competing tribes. During the 8th century BC in Israel, the prophet Isaiah could see that Israel was heading that way. Rather than give in to despair, Isaiah clung to God and was rewarded with a vision: that God himself would intervene, in the person of his "suffering servant" - a reference to Jesus. The verse quoted above continues: "... and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all."


So there is hope, for us individually and for the whole nation. Turning to God not only resolves our sin, reconciling us to God and to one another, it gives us a fresh vision to live by. In utilitarian terms, we become repurposed and refocused. Left to our own devices we become so frivolous. We need a cause to believe in, principles to live by and a goal to aim for - together, thiough, and not in isolation.

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