In the name of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Amen.
The churches in Scotland, in common with churches around Europe, are facing challenges like never before. We are seeing fewer people wanting to join us in our communities of faith. Our influence is decreasing, in the face of enormous cultural changes.
Faced with the challenge of the way faith is changing in our culture great change, religious people are often tempted to go back to their holy books, believing that there they can find precepts which are unchanging and comforting. The idea is that when we are faced with change and challenge, we should go back to scripture to find words of comfort and hope.
Now, there certainly is comfort and hope in the Bible. We just sung the 23rd Psalm, the Lord’s my Shepherd. Who could not take comfort from those words? Even when we go through the valley of the shadow of death, God goes with us. I don’t know about you, but I cling to that idea. It helps me to be grounded in faith, even as I deal with the worst the world can throw at me.
But comfort and hope are not the only messages of the Bible.