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Getting it right for every child (of God)

"And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6.8

I heard recently about a sermon in which the preacher argued that you can only fulfil the third command (walk humbly) if you are already engaged in the first two (acting justly and loving mercy). Jesus modelled all three during his life on earth, eschewing the glory that belonged to him as God, in order to show us how to live faithfully as humans created in his image. Jesus' humility extended to preferring to serve rather than be served, tending to people's spiritual, physical and emotional needs - prioritising those whom society rejected such as the impoverished, diseased and morally dubious (lepers, prostitutes and tax collectors).

Seizing control of our own destiny, we in Scotland have a golden opportunity. Having allowed our oil wealth to be squandered during the latter half of last century and with little to show for it, we are well placed in the new century to benefit even more abundantly - and this time virtuously - through the richer resources of renewable energy at our disposal (wind and wave power). This time let's harness the proceeds for the benefit of society. A Scottish national bank could be established, providing stability for infrastructure projects, national health and well-being, stable pension funds and the provision of a living wage for all.

In such a society there would be no excuse for homelessness. Mental health and care for the elderly and vulnerable would be properly resourced. Investment in education and recreation would be such as to re-establish Scotland as a beacon of genuine enlightenment. And the long-suffering residents of our island and rural communities could at last enjoy ferry and public transport services which are fit for purpose. All of this is necessary but none of it will have the desired effect unless it is done in love and in partnership. Benevolence without the involvement of all concerned is patronising. To build a better society, we must see each other as equals under God - to whom we must all one day give an account of how we used our gifts and opportunities.



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