Newspaper/Magazine Articles The Church in Scotland

The Press and Journal – Easter Message

It is encouraging to see that the Press and Journal picked up on my message – here is their truncated version that has gone to hundreds of thousands today. 

Easter offers hope and renewal in the midst of depair

On Thursday night, along with seven million others, I watched the much-anticipated seven leaders’ TV debate.

It was entertaining and better than most TV political debates, and yet at the end I felt profoundly depressed. Why?

Yes there were some good ‘performances’ but that is just what they were, ‘performances’.

I found the whole debate to be shallow, superficial and lacking any real vision, backbone or reality.

There was nothing substantial that would change the heart of a nation.

I heard the sound of politicians talking, arguing and trying to persuade us with their soundbites, self-deification, plastic images and unreal promises.

Sometimes I think that what is missing from these important debates is a sense of the bigger picture. What is the ideology, the ethos, the vision on which our society is based?

From wandering the streets, listening to conversations on the buses, reading the newspapers and comments on social media, it is clear that many on our shores reject and even mock Christian teaching.

I often feel the clamour of those who hate God.

I see the hatred in their eyes, hear the anger in the voices and read the contempt in their words.

I observe how the poison of materialism, secular humanism and enlightenment rationalism have sapped the spirit of the Scottish people.

I experience the lies, joys, pains, heartaches, confusions, stresses and sins of people all around.

I see the broken promises, the ridiculous vainglory, the escapist delusions, the false religions, the distraught parents, the abused child, the dysfunctional families, and the destruction of sexual confusion.

In spite of this, and against all the odds, the Church has a responsibility to tell the politicians and the people – hear the word of the Lord.

This Easter in Scotland, I stand as a broken person in the midst of a broken people. But, God can, and does, open the hearts and minds of even the staunchest non-believer.

Come unto me, all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest. That is one Easter promise that will never be broken.



  1. Yes, I think we can expect mocking. What is it now, 5% of the population that attends church?

    “One of the saddest moments during my time as Education Secretary was the day I took a call from a wonderfully generous philanthropist who had devoted limitless time and money to helping educate disadvantaged children in some of the most challenging areas of Britain but who now felt he had no option but to step away from his commitments because his evangelical Christianity meant that he, and his generosity, were under constant attack.” Michael Grove

    So it’s happening, so what? I don’t think going around with heads hung low and talking about the plight of Christianity is always helpful. Yes we may lament the demise of Christian influence in the country but the reality is that this has been happening for a while now and its not as if the church has either had an active involvement in its decline or a passive compliance with it.

    However, it does help to be aware of the climate and to be appropriately involved in it. It’s still an exciting world to live in with many opportunities, and God is not dead. If we find we are not welcomed, we have our say,shake the dust off our feet and move on. “No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.”

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