would imagine that there are many Scottish residents in our villages who are keeping an eye on the news about the referendum
for Scotland that will take place in the autumn. I am no expert of course, but I do know that whenever there is a serious
rift in relationships, there is a tendency for a certain amount of force to be used on both sides. Under the heading of providing
the Scots with information, government ministers have warned them this week of the consequences if the vote is in favour of
independence. Losing the pound and pensions, and membership of the European community is meant to make them sit up and reconsider.
I personally doubt that negative considerations are the ones that make any of us think again. If the people of Scotland have
been taken for granted by the United Kingdom and lost confidence in their representatives south of the border, then it is
a serious situation, that calls for a change of heart on both sides.
On a social or community level when we
fall out, there is often a tendency to try to force the issue. It's frustrating when people don't agree with us and
even worse when they cause factions to form that divide communities. These things have been going on since the beginning of
time. St Paul wrote in the 1st century A.D. to the people of Corinth who were quarreling and divided among themselves. There
were of course many complex issues just as there are in the Scottish situation, but St Paul wrote words that come to us down
the centuries and have been chosen for weddings and funerals for their wisdom. He reminds us that, "If I speak in the
tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. He continues, 'Love is patient,
love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable
or resentful. it does not rejoice in wrongdoing but rejoices in the truth". These are high standards but in the end are
practical words for those who seek to be reconciled and to find the best way forward.
Love and prayers,
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