Time for Reflection

– in the Scottish Parliament on 25 October 2022.

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Photo of Alison Johnstone Alison Johnstone Green

Good afternoon. The first item of business is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader is the Rev David J Nixon, associate pastor at the Carrubbers Christian Centre.

The Rev David J Nixon (Carrubbers Christian Centre):

Thank you for this opportunity to share a reflection.

For 140 years, Carrubbers church has stood halfway up the Royal Mile. Today, our mission remains the same: to see lives transformed by the good news of Jesus Christ.

A few weeks ago, our city bore witness to the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II. It was a solemn moment. We stood at our church doors watching her coffin being driven past, followed by King Charles III on foot. Over the following days, thousands formed the phenomenon known as “the queue”. People queued for miles—overnight—for a few moments to pay their respects.

In interviews, many testified that they felt magnetically drawn to join the queue. It seems that people felt the need to be lifted out of their ordinary daily grind to become part of a historic national event. One journalist reflected:

The Queue wasn’t just about grief, but our deep need to be part of something bigger”.

That is because, deep in the human heart and psyche, we have a longing to be part of a bigger story—more than working 9 to 5 and living for the holidays.

The Queen was a Christian. She regularly testified in her Christmas messages that she believed that her life was part of God’s bigger story, because she served a higher king: Jesus, the son of God and king of kings.

People often ask me why, if this world is God’s story, it is more a horror story than a happy story. The Bible says that it is because God’s creatures have stolen the divine author’s pen as we seek to author our own stories and destinies instead. In the process, we have left a mess across the pages of history.

Nevertheless, God looked down on our confusion and chaos, misery and meaninglessness, injustice and inhumanity, and, because he loves us, could not remain at comfortable distance from it. So, Jesus wrote himself into this world’s story—he became one of us, suffered among us, died on the cross for us and our sins, and rose again from the dead to show that evil need not have the last word in any of our lives. That is why the Bible promises:

“For God so loved the world that He gave us His Son, so that whoever trusts in Him should not perish but have eternal life”.

It is my prayer that, this winter, as we face many challenges and anxieties, many will find fresh hope and help in the true story of Jesus.