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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Meeting of the Parliament 10 December 2019

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital Oversight Board, Education (Performance), Human Rights Defenders, Code of Conduct for Members of the Scottish Parliament, Decision Time, Miscarriage


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. The first item of business this afternoon is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is the Rev Kenny Gillies, pastor, Oasis Christian centre, Livingston Elim Pentecostal Church.

The Rev Kenny Gillies (Pastor, Oasis Christian Centre, Livingston Elim Pentecostal Church)

Presiding Officer, members of the Scottish Parliament, thank you for this opportunity to address you this afternoon.

What’s in a name? Names are very important. They are the link that identifies a person or an organisation. More than that, they can become labels that define someone or a group of people.

My own name, Kenny Gillies, translated into Gaelic—my mother’s native tongue—is Coinneach MacGil’losa. Kenneth, or Coinneach, which is a name that I share with certain esteemed members of this Parliament, carries the meaning “handsome”—something that members might or might not find quite apt. My surname, Gillies, or MacGil’Iosa, however, has a more spiritual meaning: it means “servant of Jesus”, which is quite appropriate for a church pastor.

I am an Elim Pentecostal Church minister. Elim was founded in 1915 and is today a movement of more than 550 churches in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which has links to thousands of churches worldwide, plus missions in more than 40 countries.

The name Elim comes from the biblical reference in the book of Exodus to an oasis of 12 springs and 70 palm trees, where the people of God camped. An oasis is a fitting symbol for a church in which the love, grace and mercy of Jesus are ministered and where the spiritual provision found in the word of God is preached. A church should be a place where rest and refreshing, love and hope, and cleansing and healing are experienced. As the name indicates, Pentecostal churches emphasise the work of the Holy Spirit—the power and presence of God in the life of believers.

According to the Bible, there is one name that is above every other name, a name at which we are told every knee will bow, and that name is Jesus. At Christmas, the global Christian church marks his birth, which was celebrated more than 2,000 years ago with great joy and fanfare. Why? Because the name given, Jesus, means “he will save his people from their sins”. That is why Jesus is worshipped as the saviour of the world.

The Bible lists almost 200 names and titles for Jesus: he is Emmanuel, God with us, the Christ, the anointed one; he is the lord of lords, the king of kings, the light of the world—and many more.

My prayer is that his light, truth and wisdom shine upon us this day, through Christmas, and into 2020.