Behold, I make all things new! (Revelation 21.5)

A New Year brings new opportunity!

Disintegration and dissolution is the experience of many a nation throughout its history. It often punctuates periods of political and economic crisis or decline. It is what many feel we are witnessing within our own country, in this present period of transition. Transitioning into what? We are unsure and uncertain.

Which is why this, for us, is a period of great opportunity. We can bring the blessing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Scotland, in a renewed and profound way. Because of Jesus Christ, there is an opportunity to minister wholeness, healing and certainty. How do we do this?

First, we can each seek to maintain a vibrant and deep relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus is alive and the Holy Spirit is a powerful presence. When each of us carries this in our hearts, and manifests it in our lives – a vital connection to God – it will make a difference. We are portals to the Kingdom of God, in all its beauty and redeeming power.

Secondly, we can convey grace in conversation. God does not change. The Bible does not change. God’s truth does not change. As disciples of Jesus, we know we have been freed from sin into liberty: liberty to pursue the pleasure and purpose of our heavenly Father. Yes, people are confused. Clarity comes when we testify to God’s love, expressed through the Cross. Each of us can speak of the love and purpose of God towards everyone.

Thirdly, we can model community. Church has to be far more than a Sunday drive-through. Healthy community. Righteous relationships, expressing forgiveness and reconciliation. Compassion and care shown in the way we relate together, and towards others. We need to keep working at this, to make it true of our local church.

Christian witness, in times of confusion, brings hope to people. Let us go on into 2018 with a commitment to bearing hope; and to sharing the good news of God’s love and care, ministered through our participation in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Rev Dr Jim Purves

Mission and Ministry Advisor

Baptist Union of Scotland