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Back in harness

“You are the salt of the earth... You are the light of the world..." Matthew 5. 13 & 14

Over part 1 of my summer holiday I confined my reading to two books only. One was 'An Aghaidh Choimheach', Iain Moireach's collection of short stories, with which I am struggling on account of his rich Lewis dialect. However I expect to include the relevant (Dualchaint) module during next semester, so that should help plumb the mysteries... The other is the Archbishop of Canterbury's contribution to the national discourse around our recovery from the pandemic, 'Reimagining Britain'.

Far be it from me to put words into Jesus' mouth but this is certainly one of those 'Kairos' moments, where we all have an opportunity - a duty even - to take stock in order to recover thoughtfully. For Christians, that means reconsidering what it means to "have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2.16). It seems to me that Jesus operated according to three priorities: atoning for sin, renewing creation, alleviating poverty. What would it look like if these were applied to 21st century Scotland?

Atoning for sin required Jesus to enter into our humanity in order to live a perfect life and offer himself on the cross as the sufficient sacrifice for humanity's wrong-doing. That establishes the basis for forgiveness and reconciliation at every level, covering domestic strife to international conflict. In his ministry, Jesus announced the arrival of the Kingdom of God, that is to say the authority of God's direct rule in human affairs, of which he showed glimpses through his teaching and miracles. Among Jesus' pronouncements was release from all forms of captivity, embracing everything from economic impoverishment to oppression and persecution (Luke 4.18).

Our task is to embrace these principles in our personal lives and live them out in society. So please join me on a journey of contemplation over the next few weeks...

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