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Adut collects dirty water

Adut shows where she had to draw dirty water. - Christian Aid/ Silvano Yokwe

Christmas reflection from the Moderator

Lord Wallace, the Moderator of the Church of Scotland, reflects on climate justice and the Advent.

Published on 15 December 2021

What Are We Waiting For?

As we wait to celebrate the birth of Christ-child in Bethlehem, we have the assurance that God - Emmanuel - is already with us.

For many, however, this Christmas will still be a time of desperate waiting. When we read Mary's great song of praise, we are only too aware that the humble are still waiting to be lifted up and the hungry waiting to be fed with good things.

And after COP26 in Glasgow, many Indigenous peoples and those living in countries already experiencing ravages of extreme weather caused by climate change, must surely be asking why they still have to wait for decisive action.

The science of climate change is unequivocal

Whilst world leaders may negotiate agreements and communiques, the science of climate change is unequivocal and is not susceptible to negotiation. The emission cuts pledged in Glasgow fall well short of those required to limit temperature rise to 1.5C; and the consequences flowing from that will not wait.


Poorer nations still wait for the fulfillment of promises made to provide US$100 billion a year by 2020, for climate change adaptation and mitigation. Vulnerable countries still wait for more than lip service to be paid to a commitment to fund them for loss and damage already suffered.

But as we continue our Advent journey, we know that even in the darkness, we wait with confidence for the true light to break into our world.

And so, we pray,

Lord our God,

We turn to you as the Word through whom all things were made

And as the One who sustains all human life:

Hear the voices of those, who cry out on behalf of a fragile creation.

Of those who wait in fear for the next extreme weather event,

And of those who wait for justice.

Hear the voice of all your people and answer their cry.

Lord, in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.


Lord our God,

We turn to you as the Word through whom all things were made

And as the One who sustains all human life.

As we consider how majestic is your name in all the earth,

Strengthen our hearts and deepen our resolve to cherish Creation, and

To address the challenges of our time and so bring glory to your name.

Lord, in your mercy

Hear our prayer.


Lord, as we travel through Advent towards Christmas,

We give thanks that we have heard

Of the true light that is coming into the world:

The light that not even the greatest darkness can overcome.

We ask that we might become your messengers

And bear witness to Jesus Christ, the light of God that is to come.

Lord in your mercy,

Hear our prayer.

Adut with baby

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