Thought for the Week – 8.7.21

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We are open to welcome folk. The businesses, hotels, caravan parks, cafes and bars after so long under restrictions need the custom. And we all hope they thrive.

Failte, welcome and hospitality has long been tradition in the Highlands and Islands. In the past it was a sign of honour to offer generously food and accommodation. Today, a good welcome is an integral part of a thriving tourist economy.

I recently read these words as part of a thanksgiving prayer offered by a woman refugee who has found safety in Scotland. She is from the savaged land of the Congo, its people so often brutalised by Europeans and the environment exploited for its resources.

Heavenly Father,
I bow my heart to You and pray.
I give You thanks for all You’ve done.
Thank You for being my refuge and my strength.

One of the marks of a civilised society is how well it treats the refugee. My prayer is that we draw on the old tradition of genuine welcome, and not see it as part of a commercial transaction where people are treated as assets or liabilities.

To hear a person pray, is to encounter them in their vulnerable humanity. They are no longer a category too readily dismissed; rather someone who lives and loves, just like us.

Reverend Dugald Cameron (Kilmore and Oban)