Today, the Scottish Parliament debate and vote on the Equal Marriage Bill. This is a bill which has seen divisions widened in Scottish society and the Church as well.
For Biblical reasons (which I may expand upon at another time) I support the bill. However, there are many within the Church who, for equally valid, Biblical reasons, oppose it.
For this reason, I have a prayer. Not one that the Bill passes or fails, but for what I hope happens during the debate and beyond.
Loving, Heavenly Father
Today our politicians will decide whether or not to extend your gift of marriage to same-sex couples.
I pray that the debate is both impassioned and reasoned. That facts, evidence, thoughtful reflection and, above all, love are demonstrated by those taking part.
I pray that the mudslinging and name calling stop. That fears are not stoked. That people, not prejudice from either side, are accounted for.
I pray that your will is done. That it is done in the debating chamber, in the vote, in the reporting, in the reaction and in the whole of society in Scotland. Whatever the outcome.
I pray that we can move on from this to address the true, pressing needs in out society today. That we realise that the urgent priority is not in who can marry, but in poverty, injustice, loneliness, homelessness, hunger, inequality, religious division, racial hatred, sickness, alcohol and substance abuse, people struggling with parenthood, child neglect and abuse, disengagement, materialism, greed, exploitation, mental illness and many other things which make your people suffer.
Let us not become a people who argue over two people in love. Let us be a people who bring sight to the blind, hope to the poor, freedom to the captive and good news, your good news, to our country and to the world.
In Jesus’ name