MSPs told Jesus Christ transforms lives

Bob Mallinson
Rev Bob Mallinson’s Time for Reflection to MSP’s in the Scottish Parliament was one of the most popular stories of the year.

The Church of Scotland has an "extremely important" role to play in society and will continue to do so for years to come, MSPs have been told.

Rev Bob Mallinson of Menzieshill Parish Church in Dundee, who overcame a personal battle with drink and drugs to discover his purpose in life, said people continue to turn to God in their search for hope and meaning.

The minister made the remarks during Time for Reflection in the Scottish Parliament, which heralds the beginning of the business week.

Here is what Mr Mallinson said this afternoon:-

I begin this reflection by thanking the Presiding Officer for the opportunity to lead.

On Easter Sunday in 2001, I had an encounter that completely transformed and changed the course of my life.

That encounter was with Jesus Christ.

It was not a religious encounter but an encounter with the living God.

Having battled with alcohol and drug addiction on and off for about 10 years, in what can only be described as a very bleak and dark period of my life, I found in Jesus Christ a sense of hope in life.

The reason I tell you this today is because I believe in the role of the church.

When I refer to the church, I am not talking about organised institutional religion; I am talking about the community of those who find their lives embedded in the way, the truth and the life of Jesus Christ.

The role of the church is not to police our society or to govern through religious demands.

The role of the church, I believe, is to make Jesus Christ known in our society and to facilitate people in Scotland encountering that same transformative love of God that I experienced myself, so that our society will experience hope and life in all its fullness.

Despite the decline in organised institutional religion, the church has an extremely important role to play in Scotland now and for the years to come. So many people are longing for answers, searching for hope and looking for meaning and purpose in life.

Secularism and consumerism, with all their frills and feelgoods, will continue to leave people feeling empty as they simply look for the next quick fix or feelgood that passes as quickly as it came.

That is a void that I believe only Christ can fill.You see, the love and hope of God in Jesus Christ does not pass.

It does not perish.

It is not at peril from the latest trends or fashions in our society.

The Bible tells us that, while many things will pass, faith, hope and love will remain.

Those things are to be found in Christ, the one who transforms, restores and makes all things new.

Thank you very much, and bless you.