Published on 28 February 2023
2 minutes read
People can accept and respect one another regardless of the “changing values of our times”, members of the Scottish Parliament have been told.
Rev Mike Gargrave of Thornliebank Parish Church in Glasgow said being kinder helped us learn and grow and consequently become better people.
He told MSPs that there is more that unites people than divides them as they seek to share community and “surely we can live and work together as one.”
Mr Gargrave gave Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament, which heralds the start of the business week, this afternoon and acknowledged that the criticism received by MSPs, who are there to serve, can be “appalling”.
His remarks were made against the backdrop of a bad tempered contest to elect a new leader of the SNP who will serve as First Minister for Scotland.
The minister’s reflection in full: –
“Presiding Officer, members of Scottish Parliament; thank you for the opportunity to address you today.
“I am the Church of Scotland minister of Thornliebank Parish Church in Glasgow. I am grateful to Jackson Carlaw (MSP) for nominating me to deliver this Time for Reflection.
“I just wish my grannie was here to see me, she would be unbearable.
“I have a great respect for you, and your commitment to the people you serve.
“I sometimes find that that being a parish minister can be challenging, especially when people have expectations of me based on their idea of what their minister should be.
“You too live with the expectations of your constituents and of the nation, and each person has different expectations.
“The criticism you receive is at times appalling and people tend to forget that you entered politics to serve.
“Perhaps we could do with remembering that there is always more that unites us then divides us.
“While we may have different opinions of political parties, football teams, religion and questions relating to other issues, we are all people sharing our community together.
“In the New Testament of the Bible, Galatians 3:28 tells us that ‘There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one (in Christ Jesus).’
“If you are a Christian, then the in Christ Jesus is relevant, but if you are of another faith or none, this short verse makes its point:
“We are all one and while we all have differences, surely we can live and work together as one?
“We are living in ever changing times and as I get older, I can find myself questioning changing values but there again, I question some of the values from my youth.
“I recognise that we live in a better world that we did 50 years ago.
“Regardless of how we react to the changing values of our times, we can still respect and accept one another.
“Through accepting and respecting the difference of others, we learn and grow and consequently become better people.
“Through accepting and learning from others, we develop characteristics that benefit our communities.
“I want to end with a couple of Bible verses from Matthew 25:40.
“The King will reply: Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these sisters and brothers of mine, you did for me.
“I pray that folk learn to be kinder, more respectful and accepting of others, especially the least of us.
“I also pray for each of you, that you remain strong as you continue to serve our nation.
“Thank you for your time.”