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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

The God of Hope

Just back from a few days’ break in sun-soaked Paris. Heaven. 

Each morning we awoke to an intensity of light from the high windows and sun blazing overhead. It was like California, warm and inviting. Outside on the streets, tall apartment blocks (oh, that Parisian architecture is so attractive!) shadowed the streets, but once down along the Seine one could fully bask in the light.

And that is what the Parisians, and the millions of tourists, do, every day it seems. I wandered onto the riverbank the second day and sat down on an installation, I suppose I would call it. Fairly basic thick 4x4’s of wood offered seats, back rests, even beds for those so inclined. A wee footbridge to a further stretch of riverside, obscured by a planting of trees, sheltered a row of double chaise-longues for those who wished to snuggle up and watch the world go by. Every bed was taken. This was Paris, after all.

The world definitely was going by, one bateau mouche after another packed with tourists all training their cameras and phones onto the Eiffel Tower to get that unmissable shot. Fun to watch the number of selfies being snapped. Two companions, rather than photograph each other, stood side by side taking selfies. Am I just old fashioned or is that definitely odd?

Anyway, we returned to Scotland, land of the mist and gloom. Awoke this morning to a dullness, a gloom of low cloud-cover. Funny that the flight took under 2 hours and yet the intensity of light and temperature is so diverse.

Scotland is in the final throes of an historic referendum, and on Friday morning we will awake either to an ‘independent’ Scotland (how independent can it be if it still uses the pound and belongs to the EU?) or a Scotland which is still part of Great Britain. Either way, we are on the brink of seeing many changes.

Some will awaken on Friday morning and feel the strength of the light has reached a new intensity; others will awaken and perceive a deepening gloom.

Jesus is the Prince of Peace, and the light of the world. My prayer is that at the end of this historic referendum on independence, everyone will get more than anyone bargained for, as Christians have dropped to their knees in greater number and with greater passion than usual, asking God to bless this great country once again.

Whichever way the vote goes, my prayer is that we will move away from the secular society we have become and embrace the faith of our ancestors, that we will no longer be intimidated by the proponents of political correctness and tolerance but will understand and share our faith in the God of love and creation, that we will come together to work in harmony for a just and fair society.

As Scotland thinks again, let it remember the God who loves unconditionally, who saves all who call on him, and who blesses us every day as the sun rises and sets, rises and sets, rises and sets. May the God of hope fill us all with all joy and peace as we trust in him, so that we may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Whatever Friday holds, God and I can handle it.

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