By Rev Alan Ward, Retired Minister, Church of Scotland

Several months ago, around the beginning of March, I prepared a sermon to be preached on the Sunday after we had left the European Union. Well we all know that opportunity didn’t arise. “Aha!” I thought, “I can dust it off and use it at the beginning of November!” No such luck. Ah well, the day might yet come. There are quite a few verses in the Bible urging caution when making predictions about the future, and about concocting plans for our lives when we don’t know for certain what tomorrow may bring. And as Rabbie Burns once wrote, “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft agley.” I suppose we might think that the common-sense way of dealing with uncertainty is to have a Plan B, and perhaps even a Plan C. Yet life is not like a tidy game of chess in which a really smart player can work out all the possible moves of both players on a board of sixty-four squares. It is far more complicated than that. So what have I learned from my unpreached post-Brexit sermon? Firstly, to expect the unexpected and not be disappointed when things don’t work out as I thought they would. Secondly, that maybe I need to consider tackling another topic altogether, which may very well be God’s plan for my listeners at that time. Thirdly (and this is beginning to read like a classic three-point sermon), to remember that whatever happens, help and comfort, purpose and meaning come from God. It’s his world.

God bless you all.