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Seòmar agus comataidhean

Meeting of the Parliament (Hybrid)

Meeting date: Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Agenda: Time for Reflection, Topical Question Time, Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill: Stage 1, Fireworks and Pyrotechnic Articles (Scotland) Bill: Financial Resolution, Decision Time, World Press Freedom Day 2022


Contents


Time for Reflection

The first item of business this afternoon is time for reflection. Our time for reflection leader today is the Rev Canon Sarah Shaw, from Christ Church in Falkirk.

The Rev Canon Sarah Shaw (Christ Church, Falkirk)

Presiding Officer and members of the Scottish Parliament, it is a great honour for me to be here today and to be able to address you in person and not remotely or as a hologram or something.

In the Easter season, Christians celebrate that God made us for life, not death. A new and eternal life for all people is made possible through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter should not be thought of as a one-off or past event, but as a way of understanding our world and God’s action in it. The hope of resurrection is God’s hope, not to be owned or appropriated by some, but God’s will for the whole world. We see signs of it all the time, even in the midst of the horror that we may feel at the darkness of our world and the such troubling times that we are in.

The events of the first Easter were extraordinary, and they tell us all that we need to know about God’s will for creation and for all people. God was saying then, and says to us now, “You may be anxious or afraid, but be assured that fear, violence, pain, sickness and even death will not have the last word.”

I think of Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy—known as Woodbine Willie—the Anglican priest and poet who was a chaplain to soldiers on the western front during the first world war. He wrote of the terrible things that he saw first hand, but at the same time he knew that through the cross and resurrection of Christ, God had overcome all that.

“These clouds are lies”,

he wrote—

“The blue sky is the Truth.”

Does that seem like wishful thinking? Perhaps—until we consider that resurrection miracles happen every day: when someone forgives another person and a broken relationship is restored; when people open their homes to refugees who they have never met, because it is the right thing to do; when, in spite of rising pressure on household bills, people reach out with generosity to others in need; and when those who are in a position of power and influence speak out or take action against the popular or expedient thing. Those are resurrection miracles. Resurrection was not, and is not, a one-off event, but a way of life and a hopeful calling for us all.