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Duddingston Kirk, Edinburgh

Sunday Services at 10 am and 11.30 am

Letter from the Manse

 September 2018

Dear Friends

Our Eco-Group has been highlighting to me the amount of plastic we use in everyday life. From crisp packets to plasters for cut fingers, everything these days seems to contain plastics. I visited the garden centre recently and found that the stone planters were actually made of plastic and that the basket-weave chairs on sale were – yes, you have guessed it – plastic.

We are now aware of the non-biodegradable plastics that just won’t go away and are ending up in landfill or in our oceans. Video clips of turtles being strangled by plastic bags and sea birds being suffocated by eating pieces of plastic surely are an alarm call to all of us that our planet needs to be cared for.

In the beginning, in the Bible story of creation, God makes everything good and then charges human beings to look after it. And like most things God says these days, society seems to walk away and not listen.

The consequences of our action sooner or later catch up with us. An old phrase I have heard said many times (usually in jest) is ‘Your sins will find you out.’ Or a phrase that I use from time to time, ‘the truth has a habit of making itself known!’

A number of years ago when I worked in Glasgow, as an architect, I was asked to work late and finish off a particular job. I thought that I had better call home and tell my mother that I would be late. She said that she had already prepared my tea and suggested that I did not eat anything until I got home. I agreed. About six o’clock my tummy started to rumble and all I could think about was tea time! To resolve the problem I wandered to the nearest shops to see what would still be open. There was a new fish and chip shop. Inside it looked as if I were their first customer as a photographer was standing by asking if he could take my photo buying my fish supper. I thought nothing more about it and when I eventually got home, not to disappoint my mother, I told her that I had waited to eat what she had prepared. Next day in the Glasgow Herald newspaper there was a news headline as the then chancellor Nigel Lawson had added VAT to carry-out food and guess whose photo (large size – the photo not me!) was on page three? When I got home that evening there was my mother saying, ‘Be sure your sins will find you out!’

There always consequences to our actions. Sometime it’s a laugh or a joke but sometimes it’s not. God’s charge to us to live all over the earth and bring it under our control bears a heavy responsibility and it has consequences for all of us when we get it wrong. I therefore remind you of our responsibility and wherever possible let us abandon the use of plastic!

Rev. Dr James Jack