This week is a collaborative effort. So it will not reflect just my opinions or thoughts, but I do hope the overall tenor of what is said will get all of us to think about what is happening and how we might respond.
On a personal level I am not given a vote this time around but that may all change shortly. Or it may just stay the same.
Whatever the outcome of the Referendum this Thursday, September 18, life will change in Scotland and we need to admit that there are risks whatever the outcome. Some people are asking why we even have to have a Referendum but it has forced us to think what is important to us even if we feel that life is really okay and that there is no need to change. You are invited to step back and take a look at the bigger picture of who we are, what we are here for and where we are going.
A couple of weeks ago there was a conference where discussion took place about the impact of our consumer society, particularly our desire to eat and consume more, on the environment and on our health. It has been suggested that if everyone in the world lived as the developed world does we could need at least two to three planets. No wonder there are so many hungry people in the world.
So how do we change? We will need new ways of working and living to solve this problem of over consumption. We could get very depressed about the whole scenario, but surely we can see that God made a beautiful world for us to live in and we have messed it up, all of us. Or better yet use true biblical sense of stewardship to use and reuse the resources sensibly though that was not of necessity suggested as the model at the conference. None of us can say that we are completely unselfish or perfect – which means that none of us are good enough to enter heaven the other side of the grave. But God loved us so much that he sent His Son, Jesus, to give us a new way. Jesus died and rose again to make us new people with a new direction. Read John Chapter three in the Bible (you don’t need to have a Bible in the house – if you have the internet you can simply search for John chapter three. Look in particular look at verses three and 16.)
God’s new way of living is a gift for anyone who will receive it and gives us assurance that whatever happens in the world, God is still in charge and we can be with him forever. This is not “pie in the sky when we die” but a fact that gives us a new motivation for living now.
This is a motivation that is not based on a hope in economic recovery, a new government, a new Scotland or our next goal in life, be it a new house, car, partner or a more comfortable life, but on the one Eternal Almighty God and his son Jesus Christ.
Just as Christ loved us, and provided a way to reconciliation. I, Jon, pray that as a community that regardless of the outcome of our election we can find a way to reconcile across the differences, better use what God has given us here in Scotland and move forward to becoming a better people for the sake of each other and our neighbours and ultimately the eternal kingdom of God.
The story of the Good Samaritan may well be a good place to start for next week... Aye I think I will.
Submitted by Rev. Jon Bergen with lots of collaboration.