2023 WEEK 1: 3rd September


Moses  (Exodus 3) takes notice of God-given pointers to remediable injustice despite the strong demands of everyday work and commitments. But the tasks from the midst of which he’s called are not irrelevant: the ‘pastoral’ obligations which prepare him for leadership.  Each of us, and each congregation, has gifts. Our particular prayers and action as followers of Christ are God’s gift to the Earth.

Jeremiah  (15) reflects grimly on the personal cost  and  yet the purposefulness of responding, even where change seems beyond his own resources.  In Romans (12), we find Paul in the midst of the necessary building of community, equipping the church with a powerfully counter-cultural love for all whom God makes and calls – repurposing our  instincts for hatred and revenge  not by passivity, but ‘overcoming evil with good’.  A world in climate crisis is one in which every conflict hurts every creature.  And yet Jesus’ determination to confront evil on the Cross ( Matt 16) forces us to reflect on the even more terrifying cost of ignoring the signs of our times, in the illusion that pursuing a quiet safe life in the status quo will make it all go away. The makers of  gothic horror films would despair at this technical  Biblical identification of “satanic” with seeking a quiet, safe life. Maybe that’s the scariest of all. Dare you use that language when faced with denial and misinformation?

The Season begins with a rich variety of prayers, from (UK) United Reformed Church Moderator Rev Dr Tessa Henry-Williams, and with material prepared by Rev Andy Braunston, United Reformed Minister for digital ministry, who lives on Orkney, alongside original material from ECS Staff. Writers of reflections:ECS Staff, Val Brown: Head of Christian Aid Scotland, Fintan Hurley: Scientist and ECS Board member,  Revs Justin Taylor and Jenny Adam, Church of Scotland Net Zero too.  Jenny is also a Board member. Together they discuss, in a video conversation, one of the Psalms

****PLEASE LOOK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS WEBPAGE FOR A MAJOR VIDEO REFLECTION (sermon-slot length) which can be freely downloaded for any devotional use, via VIMEO



A sermon idea for Week 1



Full-length downloadable video reflection, with location readings to support

Locations: Dunbar and Edinburgh, with short items from Orkney.