Time for Reflection

– in the Scottish Parliament at 9:30 am on 24th May 2000.

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Photo of Lord David Steel Lord David Steel Presiding Officer, Scottish Parliament 9:30 am, 24th May 2000

I am sorry to have to tell members that Captain Connelly of the Salvation Army has not turned up to take time for reflection. If members do not mind, I will read his text to the chamber.

Captain Connelly wanted to appear before us today as a representative of the Salvation Army, whose work is valued and appreciated worldwide. Its motto is:

"Heart to God and hand to man".

He says that the Salvation Army's service is therefore a practical application of the spiritual instruction that is found in Matthew's gospel, chapter 25, verses 35-36 and 40.

"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 . . . The King will then reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it for me.'"

Captain Connelly says:

"Every human being has the capacity for service to others. There are many varied ways to serve. I want to share a reading with you and all who work to serve other people."

It is entitled "For Them".

"I put my hands together

and I stand

before your throne.

Just me!

and yet there's more than me;

in fact I'm not alone!

Behind me stands

a motley crowd.

I want to speak for those who give themselves

in service

for the nameless no one knows.

Your servants

who spend all they have,

and sometimes something more,

in drying tears,

and calming fears,

and often waging war

on poverty, on loneliness,

on hopelessness and grief,

on sadness and on badness,

never asking relief.

Please give your willing ones

the strength

and all of the grace they need.

I can't do much to help them,

I can only intercede.

O hear me, Lord.

For them I pray this prayer

and, when they need you

most of all,

just let then know

you're there!

"Let us try just for today to 'Give our hearts to God and a helping hand to our fellow man'."

That is Captain Connelly's message to us this morning.