Importance of 'vision' outlined to MSPs

MSPs have been reminded of the importance of having vision in order to bring happiness to the nation.

Rev Ian MacDonald of Holy Trinity Church in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh addressed the Scottish Parliament this afternoon.

He delivered Time for Reflection, which heralds the start of the business week.

Here is what Mr MacDonald said.

Rev Ian MacDonald
Rev Ian MacDonald addresses the Scottish Parliament.

“Presiding Officer and members, thank you for this opportunity to address you today.

"As you may know, one of the duties and privileges of the Christian faith is to pray for leaders and all those in authority.

"I want to assure you that we the Kirk pray for you regularly before the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

"And I might add that we pray for you - not against you!

"Thank you for your hard work and service particularly whenever you have demonstrated compassion to the poorest in our communities.


"May I start with a question.

"What do the sewing machine, insulin treatment for diabetics and the double helix structure of DNA have in common?

"The answer is they were all revealed by dream or vision.

"Vision is something that is so important for the people of Scotland today.

"The scripture says ‘Where there is no vision the people cast off restraint, but happy are they that keep the law.’

"I believe there is a Lawgiver - a reason for the seemingly inexplicable fact of why the observable universe of vast solar systems and myriad galaxies, of minutest quarks and gluons follow laws.

"Christians believe God has revealed himself as Lawgiver not only in creation but also in scripture and therefore the one to whom we must give account.

"Those laws, on which our modern laws are based, are boundaries that protect us, and applied in love add to the happiness of the people.


"It can feel exhilarating to throw off those boundaries for a moment.

"Perhaps for some it has felt exciting casting off the Judeo-Christian ethic that has cemented Western society for two millennia.

"But casting off all restraint does not free people but leaves so many alone, addicted and without purpose.

"I once watched a game of rugby union where a tackle came in with such force that it caused a player’s leg to go back at the knee.

"That knee was completely free but useless.

"It was never designed to be like that.

"I speak to those entrusted with enacting laws that set the boundaries of freedom in Scotland today.

"But if our laws and freedoms are to bring ‘happiness’ to our nation - for that we need vision.

"Vision is not something you get after the pressing matters of the day are out of the way.

"Vision never comes about by committee.

"Vision comes when a man or woman sees what could be.

"I serve the community of Wester Hailes.

"We have a vision where loneliness, addiction and purposelessness are things only spoken in the past tense.

"It is a vision that I believe local churches in local communities are ideally placed to provide the answer to.

" And if myself or the community I serve lack vision - there is a simple prayer that is available to all.

"Someone turned it into a timeless hymn - ‘Be Thou my Vision.’

"Thanks for listening.”