‘The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed’. That was our experience at this year’s Argyll Convention. Several people came to the speakers afterwards and commented on how the messages had spoken into their lives.
We also met a number of tourists who came to the event having seen local publicity. These included an Asian man who said he was ‘seeking the truth’. The overall theme was ‘Finding meaning in a meaningless world’.
Dominic Smart led us through Ecclesiastes, showing the futility of a materialistic life (‘under the sun’) and the fulfilment of wise living that acknowledges our Maker. We came away with a new awareness of the variety contained in the word ‘wisdom’, and of the need to adjust our personal responses as providence changes and new ‘seasons’ emerge.
Simon Austen approached it from another angle. Speaking about ‘Security for the soul’, he made clear who Jesus is and why we need him. In three searching addresses, we were warned to regard Jesus as our Lord and not as a mere therapist. Our wisdom is to receive his Word, for it divides as well as saves.
Other contributors included Alistair Wilson from Highland Theological College, who spoke on the significance of the Reformation for today, and Sue Trenier, recently returned from three decades of work in the growing churches of West Papua.
Oban, on Scotland’s west coast, is expected to host the convention again in August 2018.