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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid) 11 January 2022

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Point of Order, Topical Question Time, Covid-19 Update, Labour Shortages, Animal Welfare (Kept Animals) Bill, Business Motion, Decision Time, Endometriosis


Contents


Time for Reflection

Good afternoon. I remind members of the Covid-related measures that are in place and that face coverings should be worn when moving around the chamber and across the Holyrood campus.

The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is the Rev Mairi Perkins, minister of Ardoch parish church linked with Blackford parish church in Perthshire.

Presiding Officer and members of the Parliament, thank you for your invitation to address you this afternoon. On starting my training for ministry, I knew that it was going to be good, but I never knew that it would be this good.

On the night of my ordination, I knew in my heart that I had not been ordained simply to be a minister but that I had been ordained to ministry, because ministry is the serving of others in a world in which pain and darkness too often prevail in people’s lives. Ministry is about listening to people’s stories, pain and happiness and simply holding them until you find the light, bringing hope into the lives of the vulnerable, poor, marginalised and discriminated against in our society, striving to give them equity. It struck me that that is exactly what all of you signed up to do as members of the Scottish Parliament—to serve the needs of the people of Scotland, no matter how difficult, unpleasant or unpopular that might be.

I have a favourite passage in the Bible that teaches me how to serve and shine a light into people’s darkness. It is in Matthew, chapter 25, starting at verse 35. It says:

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.

Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Everyone needs to see the light in the darkness; they sometimes just need a little help. My prayer for you is for the wisdom to strive to be the light bearer for others.

I leave you with the words of the young black American poet Amanda Gorman:

“For there is always light,
If only we’re brave enough to see it,
If only we’re brave enough to be it.”