Sometimes words take centuries to develop. Others burst onto the scene in an instant.
None of us had heard the word “Brexit” a year ago. Today, it’s on everyone’s lips – not only in Europe, but here in the United States as well.
Brexit is of particular concern to anyone with an interest in financial markets (which, in this era of globalization, is all of us). It remains to be seen what the long-term implications of this decision by the British people will be.
“No man is an island,” wrote the Christian preacher and poet John Donne, centuries ago. “Each man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.” The British stock market has crashed, and the pound has fallen to its lowest exchange rate in decades. We have every reason to hope that the financial storm surge being felt on European shores will end up being more like a ripple by the time it reaches this side of the Atlantic, but with all the ways financial markets are interconnected, that seems unlikely.
“Brexit” is a new word, but at times like these, we rely on a very old word: the oldest word of all. It’s the word that, as the Gospel-writer John reminds us, was “in the beginning”: the living Word of God, Jesus Christ.
I’m writing this in Portland, Oregon, where I’ve been attending our denomination’s General Assembly. The Assembly’s theme, based on the Letter to the Ephesians, is “the hope in our calling.” We Christians speak of hope in times like these, and we do it based on that very old Word of ours – the Word that, by the power of the resurrection, is forever new.
This Sunday we ordain and install deacons and ruling elders – celebrating the hope in their calling, and ours. I’ll have some things to share with you about what went on at the General Assembly. I hope you can join us!