Slogans come and go. I remember living in Glasgow and the slogan for the city then was ‘Glasgow Smiles Better’ – an apt one in many ways. It referred to the friendly nature of Glaswegians and, I suppose, both pointed to the progress made in the city’s image since as it emerged in postindustrial times and favourably compared it to its old rival to the east of the central belt.
Now the slogan for Glasgow is more direct, but continues to carry the core truth about its inhabitants ‘People make Glasgow’.
The Church, too, is not without its slogans – its punchy summaries of how it sees itself or what it aspires to. Our own diocese used to use ‘Travelling together in Glasgow & Galloway’ as a title for our news publication, but also as a description of who we felt we were. This has given way to ‘Growing with God’s grace in Glasgow & Galloway’. As I see it, both are true of us as God’s people in this part of Scotland.
This month of remembrance, once more, reminds us that, as Christians, we are never alone in our journey of faith. On Sunday, 1 November we will celebrate this fact as we rejoice in the truth of the presence and help of all God’s saints. It is a festival that naturally leads us on to reflect on God’s faithfulness to each of us in the community of faith. An inclusiveness without limit; one that holds both us and our departed loved ones in the same loving embrace.
We all travel together, in one another’s company, and are called to life and growth in the one who loved us and gave himself for us.
These words, inscribed on the west wall of Westminster Abbey could be our prayer too:
May God grant to the living, grace.
To the departed, rest.
To the Church and the world, peace and concord.
And to us sinners eternal life. Amen.
yours in the faith, Gordon