Christmas hope

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In Hugh Reilly’s highly entertaining article (Perspective, 23 December) in response to the Church of Scotland Moderator’s repentance of his previously held criticisms of “Christmas only” churchgoers lies an ass­ertion that reveals his deep
belief or knowledge in what 
actually happens “after life”.

His negative experiences of organised religion in his youth
not only persuaded him to 
embrace another religion, atheism, but apparently gave him a knowledge denied to many of his readers.

He is critical of church ministers offering hope at funerals – “declaring that the loved one inside the casket is in a happier place – if only the dead could talk, they would, I assure you, disagree”.

Is Mr Reilly’s personal “assurance” based on revelation, scientific evidence or speculation?

The centrality of the Christmas message is held by many highly respected journalists and astrophysicists alike. To dismiss this as fanciful or wishful thinking is one thing; to claim an 
assured knowledge of the imp­ossibility of hope is something altogether different.

Monday’s tragedy in Glasgow surely reminds us all, if we need reminding, of the transient and random nature of life and death.

Amidst all the chaos of this and every Christmas, it might be worth revisiting the claims made about the person of Jesus Christ.

Perhaps some of the “Christmas only” churchgoers will 
discover or rediscover a hope that brings some kind of meaning on this strange road on which we all travel.

Gavin Cargill

Edinburgh Road

Linlithgow