A message of hope at New Year, from the Primus

January 1, 2024

Today we begin 2024 and we look forward to what the next year might bring. Yet as we review the year that is past, we could be in danger of beginning 2024 without much hope, let alone happiness.

I overheard someone in the Eastgate Centre in Inverness telling the friend they had met that the world was disastrous and that there was no chance of improvement. This is a sentiment I have also heard in religious circles, yet we are called to be proclaimers of hope as well as love.

I know that the New Year will bring more conflict, more hardship and for some more loneliness, yet I am also aware that there will be good days, there will be days of fellowship and there will be days of hope.

The smallest act of kindness can change gloom into sunshine. We might not be able to change the minds of world leaders or governments, though we should try. But what we can do is offer ourselves in the service of others.

Jesus called us to turn the other cheek, to walk the extra mile and to share what we have with those who have nothing.

If we try to do that in our own lives then we might just allow the Son to shine into the lives of others bringing hope, reconciliation and love.

Happy New Year to you all.

The Most Rev Mark Strange, Bishop of Moray, Ross & Caithness and Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church