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Language: English / GĂ idhlig

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Chamber and committees

Meeting date: Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Meeting of the Parliament 08 November 2016

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Unconventional Oil and Gas, Health and Social Care (European Union Workforce), Business Motion, Parliamentary Bureau Motion, Decision Time, Species Champions Initiative (Relaunch)


Contents


Time for Reflection

The Presiding Officer (Ken Macintosh)

Good afternoon. Our first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is the Rev Bob Mallinson, from Menzieshill in Lochee.

The Rev Bob Mallinson (Menzieshill Parish Church, Dundee)

I begin this reflection by thanking the Presiding Officer for the opportunity to lead.

On Easter Sunday in 2001, I had an encounter that completely transformed and changed the course of my life. That encounter was with Jesus Christ. It was not a religious encounter but an encounter with the living God. Having battled with alcohol and drug addiction on and off for about 10 years, in what can only be described as a very bleak and dark period of my life, I found in Jesus Christ a sense of hope in life.

The reason I tell you this today is because I believe in the role of the church. When I refer to the church, I am not talking about organised institutional religion; I am talking about the community of those who find their lives embedded in the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ.

The role of the church is not to police our society or to govern through religious demands. The role of the church, I believe, is to make Jesus Christ known in our society and to facilitate people in Scotland encountering that same transformative love of God that I experienced myself, so that our society will experience hope and life in all its fullness.

Despite the decline in organised institutional religion, the church has an extremely important role to play in Scotland now and for the years to come. So many people are longing for answers, searching for hope and looking for meaning and purpose in life. Secularism and consumerism, with all their frills and feelgoods, will continue to leave people feeling empty as they simply look for the next quick fix or feelgood that passes as quickly as it came. That is a void that I believe only Christ can fill.

You see, the love and hope of God in Jesus Christ does not pass. It does not perish. It is not at peril from the latest trends or fashions in our society. The Bible tells us that, while many things will pass, faith, hope and love will remain. Those things are to be found in Christ, the one who transforms, restores and makes all things new.

Thank you very much, and bless you.