Scottish Independence referendum day – will the blue of the Union flag soon be only symbolic. – or should it even be removed?

UK Sunset, or not I am reading the prophet Amos while spending time with oldest daughter Katy, son-in-law Mat and family, in Madagascar, on holiday to begin with, then we go to their hospital in a very poor remote area (see blogs from September 2011). Amos describes himself as a shepherd, and he describes God as a lion, ‘roaring judgment on those who ‘sell into slavery honest men… trampling down the weak and helpless…’ Amos makes sobering scripture reading – alongside keeping abreast with international news – the continuing suffering of children, whether in war-torn areas, or in areas of drought and famine, with non-existent medical and educational facilities, and those deliberately killed before their parents eyes, if they do not denounce Jesus. But this last week and today especially, I am glad to be away from the U.K. as voting takes place in the Scottish Independence referendum. Hilary and I look west from the Isle de St Marie towards the Madagascar mainland, but like to fly the flag, on the last day the red-white-and blue mean anything other than an empty symbol? I hope not.

Our world needs greater unity, not separation, and England, Scotland, the U.K., the European Community, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria o news of their kidnapped girls?), all desperately need to hear the words of judgment from Amos. Not to be pre-occupied with building up our own wealth, but sharing it. It is not easy relaxing with so much poverty as soon as we step outside our relatively modest hotels, but still, the holiday of a lifetime for most westerners.

We persuade ourselves that we are only here because our daughter and family are serving the Madagascan people in the name of Christ.  On our holiday island, a slightly higher percentage of the population enjoy a little more prosperity, and less of the grinding poverty of the rest of the nation; but only a slightly higher percentage.  Katy and family though, badly need a holiday so we will enjoy it with them, while keeping alive to the tensions that so much of living in the 21st century involves. And resolve not to become complacent, and to live the Gospel a little better.

And an update two days later:  With the results in from all 32 council areas, the “No” side won with 2,001,926 votes over 1,617,989 for “Yes”.Results graphic