The Church of Scotland held its annual General Assembly in Edinburgh this week.
This is an important event for members of the Church of Scotland as it is the time when many of the really important decisions about the church’s work are made. It is also an opportunity for people from different parts of the globe to come together to share views, ideas and hopes for the future. Some of the topics covered will have been about how the individual churches can be best organized to suit the needs of the people of the twenty first century.
But the Church is also interested in and involved in the wider issues which affects everyone. In common with all churches, the Church of Scotland is not only concerned with people who are currently members, it is also concerned with ensuring that people the world over can all get the opportunity of living as meaningful and as constructively lives as possible. And that often means the Church has to work in partnership with various groups and organizations which look after the wellbeing of others. The General Assembly gives church members the opportunity of reflecting on some of the ‘big issues’ of life. And then urging them to take positive steps in order that individuals can make a real and constructive difference to those around them. But the church also has a worldwide obligation as all. Jesus told his followers to ‘go out into all the world and make disciples of men and women everywhere.’
In other words the church has to be concerned with more than itself. Jesus did not come into the world to help only his disciples. He came to sacrifice himself for the whole world.