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Christian faith is broad and encompasses all sorts of different expressions; Presbyterian, Baptist, Orthodox, Roman Catholic and many others. Yet, we all agree we hold certain beliefs in common. Take for example this opening sentence from a Church of Scotland Statement of Faith.
We believe in one God
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
God is love.
Rather than our faith being all over the place we assert certain things to be true. And here is an example of why this is important. Christian Wiman, the editor of Poetry a US national publication, found the mantra of ‘spiritual but not religious’, of scant comfort when he faced life threatening illness. He needed something firmer to believe. He wrote, ‘Definite beliefs enable us to withstand the storms of suffering that come into every life, and that tend to destroy any spiritual disposition that does not have deep roots.’
The deep roots of faith have been long planted here in Argyll and Lochaber. My own congregation of Kilmore and Oban can date its origins back to 648AD. Down each generation there have been faults and blessings till today we face our own 21st century context. And this may be that people still yearn for the ‘spiritual’ but are wary of religious commitment. Well, take a leap of faith and jump into the breath, length, height and depth of a wonderfully rich tradition that both grounds us and sets us free to live.
All things will be made new;
and creation will rejoice
in worshipping the Father, through the Son
in the power of the Spirit, one God, blessed for ever. Amen.
Rev Dugald Cameron (Kilmore and Oban)