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Reflection from the Minister

 

 

 

REFLECTION   Sunday 28th March

 

‘Even though I walk  

through the valley of the shadow of death,  

I will fear no evil,  

for you are with me;’ 

 

 

Here we all are – facing something we’ve never faced before. Our lives are being slowly shut down.  

We are gently but firmly ordered to stay indoors as much as possible; told not to be selfish, 

to keep the vulnerable and the NHS safe.. 

 

 

It is hard for us to comprehend. Last week our daughter phoned to say she needed a table 

to act as a desk for our son-in-law’s temporary office at home. 

We had one and took it over to Linlithgow.

 

It was odd for us, placing the folding table at the front door 

and stepping back on to the lawn. 

We spoke to the family for about 5 minutes 

separated, unable to hug,  

unable to ruffle our grandson’s hair 

or kiss our granddaughter’s forehead. 

We left blowing kisses,  

never doubting our love for each other.  

 

 

These enforced separations leave many of us bereft of the company of people we see 

at church, at clubs, and other daily or weekly pursuits.  

My wife is having withdrawal symptoms  

from morning coffee with friends at Dobbie’s.

 

These simple activities make up the fabric of our lives and help to keep us socially and mentally balanced. 

We are conscious of people on their own now deprived of visits from friend or carers. 

How are we to keep heathy in mind and body while serving God during this crisis?

 

Leslie Weatherhead offers us help to face our fears.

 

Let us, fifty times a day if need be, set before us a picture of the real God, utterly loving, whatever we have done, 

infinitely strong, resourceful and purposeful, finding this way for us when that way is closed  

…….who will not allow us to be lost and defeated

 

if we trust him…Let us commit ourselves to him every morning for the real God is to be trusted, 

and whatever happens to us – we shall know that eternal love still bears us on its bosom, 

and that we shall find our way home without regret.                                                                                                 Amen

 

 

 

PRAYER

 

Abide with us Lord, when the evening approaches, and the day is almost over. 

Abide with us Lord, as the days are hastening on, and we hasten with them. 

Abide with us Lord, and with all your faithful people, making yourself known,

 

in the reading of your word, and the breaking of bread. 

Lighten our darkness, Lord, 

and by your mercy defend us from all dangers of the night; 

through Jesus Christ our Lord.                                  Amen 

 

God bless you and keep you. 

 

 

I hope to continue sending messages to the congregation throughout this time of “shut down”. 

I don’t have a list of phone numbers, but if you feel alone and isolated and would like to talk to someone - please feel free to call me on 01383730305 or 07484320907 (You can leave a message on the mobile.) 

Blessings  

Willie McC. 

Locum Minister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

March 2020 Reflection

 

Spiritual and Physical Darkness

 

Pamela Scott DCS 

 

My husband and I were given a present at Christmas of three hyacinth bulbs, compost and a plant pot.  The compost was added to the pot and then the hyacinth bulbs were planted.  The instruction was to place the pot in a dark place for ten weeks.  The darkest place we have was the loft, so duly it was put there for ten weeks.  

For many people we can feel at times that we have been put in the dark, away from all that is familiar, hidden from out family, friends and God.  Maybe even at this time when we have been instructed to stay home, stay away from work, school, friends, family and church, we feel like we are in the dark, we have been abandoned, we are in a spiritual and physical wilderness.  What do we do to bring about some sense of normality, after all there are only so many times we can clean out cupboards.  How do we cope?

 

Maybe like the hyacinth bulbs we just have to wait on the Lord. 

 

Two days ago, the hyacinth bulbs were removed from the loft.  They had grown.  They may have been pale, but they were strong.  To our eyes the loft is dark, but there must have been some light in that darkness that allowed them to grow the way they did.  We might feel we are hidden from God but as we read in Psalm 139, verses 11 and 12, we certainly are not,          

 

‘If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me  

and the light become night around me,”  

even the darkness will not be dark, to you;  

the night will shine like the day,  

for darkness is as light to you. 

 

We definitely are not hidden, God sees our needs, our concerns, our worries and the things that cause us anxiety. 

 

Whatever we go through, led God lead us, and one way to do that is pray.  Let him know exactly how you are feeling.  With God having such a loving nature, he will understand and help us through. 

 

God Bless you all. 

 

(P.S.  The leaves of the hyacinths are now a vibrant green and the flowers are a deep purple.)

 

February 2020 Reflection

 

Pamela Scott – Deacon 

It was my mum’s 70th birthday at the beginning of February.  I wracked my brains to try and get her something that was special and meant something to her.  I suddenly had a brainwave, remember her favourite poem is “Footprints in the Sand” by Mary Stevenson, so I got a copy framed for her.  The poem is as follows: 

 

One night I dreamed a dream. 

As I was walking along the beach with my Lord. 

Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. 

For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, 

One belonging to me and one to my Lord. 

 

After the last scene of my life flashed before me, 

I looked back at the footprints in the sand. 

I noticed that at many times along the path of my life, 

especially at the very lowest and saddest times, 

there was only one set of footprints. 

 

This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it. 

"Lord, you said once I decided to follow you, 

You'd walk with me all the way. 

But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life, 

there was only one set of footprints.

 

I don't understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me." 

He whispered, "My precious child, I love you and will never leave you 

Never, ever, during your trials and testings. 

When you saw only one set of footprints, 

It was then that I carried you." 

 

 

It got me thinking about how God is always there to help us during all the difficult times in life, but there are others who can help us too.  Disciples of Christ.  We often think disciples were those men and women that followed Jesus while he was here on Earth.  However, we are all disciples following in the footsteps of those who went before us in faith. 

 

I remember one day several years ago, as a family, we were walking along the beach as we often did when the kids were younger.  My husband was walking ahead with our daughter and I noticed my son was following his dad, he stretched his legs so that he could step into his dad footprints.  Once Gary noticed he took smaller steps so that he could more easily allow his feet to fall into his dad’s footprints.  This is a picture that speaks to me about discipleship.  In our faith we always follow in someone’s footsteps.  It may be a parent, teacher or a hero we have read or heard about – none of us are the first to tread the path of faith.  We also leave footprints for others to follow, footsteps that will guide others.  It may be a child, a friend or a recent Christian.  Whoever it may be we should never allow them to walk alone. 

 

So let bless others and be true disciples of Christ. 

 

‘All people will know that you are my followers if you love each other.’  John 13:35

 

 

 

January 2020 Reflection

 

January 2020 Reflection

 

Pamela Scott- Deacon

 

 

 

At the start of any New Year it is always a time to reflect.  A time to reflect on what has happened in the last year and what might be ahead.  We may decide that we will lose weight in the year ahead, or we might plan to go to the gym every day so that we become fitter.  Some people decide to learn a new skill or pledge to do something every day such as read each book of the Bible.  however, no matter how committed we are, we are likely to give up at some point during the year.  Often it is not a conscious decision, but life gets in the way.  Something happens to break the habit we are forming.

 

 

 

So, is it better to decide to do something that is much simpler to do? 

 

 

 

I found this poem by Mary Fairchild that might just inspire us to simply trust and obey God, make a promise to ourselves to follow, trust and obey.

 

 

 

I tried to think of a clever new phrase—
A slogan to inspire the next 365 days,
A motto to live by this coming New Year,
But the catchy words fell flat to my ear.

 

And then I heard His still small voice
Saying, "Consider this simple, daily choice:
With each new dawn and close of day
Make new your resolve to trust and obey."

 

"Don't look back, caught in regret
Or dwell on the sorrow of dreams unmet;
Don't stare forward anchored by fear,
No, live in this moment, for I Am here."

 

"I am all you need. Everything. I Am.
You are held secure by my strong hand.
Give me this one thing—your all in all;
Into my grace, let yourself fall."

 

So, at last, I'm ready; I see the way.
It's to daily follow, trust, and obey.
I enter the New Year armed with a plan,
To give Him my everything—all that I am.

 

--Mary Fairchild

 

 

 

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