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November Reflection

 

Why does bad things happen to good people?

 

Reflection by Pamela Scott DCS 

 

Why does bad things happen to good people?  This is a question we all ask at some point in our life, but it is also a question we find very difficult to answer if we are asked it by someone.  We always feel our answer isn’t good enough, especially when there are some people who then use that as an argument for there not being a God.  

 

I have recently read a book called ‘The Shack’ by William P. Young and we decided to watch the film at the Fellowship that is held weekly in Benarty.  The entire film was based on the main character asking this question and having to live with something bad happening to his innocent young daughter, she was abducted and killed.  When the main character, Mackenzie, met God he wanted to understand why his daughter was taken from him and blame God for not stopping it.  What sort of life would we lead if God stopped all the bad things happening?  Would we all be clones, doing the same things?  Would there be any variety in life?  Would that remove our ability to think and have free will? 

 

During Mack’s time with God he was asked to be the judge of people.  He had a hard upbringing with his father hitting his mother and him.  He was asked to decide if his father was bad, he agreed he was.  He then saw his father as a small child crying in bed, was he guilty of being bad?  Mack said he was only a child and he couldn’t be bad, it then turned out that his father was beaten by his father.  God suggested that we never know what kind of upbringing someone has had, that may cause them to do bad things and they should be brought to a point where they recognise that they do bad things, however we are not the people to do that, only God can. 

 

So, is God responsible for bad things happening to good people.  I would suggest not and during the film we saw God saying over again that he was with Mack, his family and his daughter, every step of the way.  Unfortunately, when something bad happens to us we are so consumed by this that we forget to turn to God but every step of the way he is with us and never leaves us. 

 

This doesn’t answer the question ‘Why does bad things happen to good people?’ but it does give us a bit more of an understanding, with the knowledge that we will understand fully one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cracked pot reflection

 

Reflection

Pamela Scott DCS

 

We are all cracked Pots

 

I have just conducted a funeral of a person who had a very troubled life and decided that I would read ‘The Cracked Pot’.  I would like to share it as I think it is an important message for all of us. 

 

A water carrier had two large pots, hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the

 

other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For two years this went on, with the carrier delivering only one and a half pots of water to his master’s house. 

 

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of itself, but the cracked pot was ashamed of its flaws. After two years of what it saw as bitter failure, it spoke to the water carrier one day by the stream. ‘I’m ashamed of myself, and I want to apologise.’ ‘Why?’ asked the carrier. ‘What are you ashamed of?’

 

‘For these past two years, I have delivered only half my load because this crack in my side leaks water all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work with less reward,’ the pot said. 

 

The water carrier felt sorry for the old cracked pot and said, ‘As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path.’

 

As they went up the hill, the old cracked pot noticed the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path. But it felt bad because it still leaked out half its load, and SO AGAIN it apologised to the carrier, who immediately said to the pot, ‘Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path?

 

That’s because I have always known about your cracks. I sowed flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day when we walked back from the stream, you’ve watered them. For two years I have been able to decorate my master’s table.

 

Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty in his home.’

 

Each of use has our own unique flaws. They are part of who we are. We are all cracked pots but seen through the eyes of those who love us they can be expressions of love and beauty. 

 

It is human nature that we all want to be perfect, never to make mistakes but unfortunately that will never be the case.  God is the only one who is perfect, as we read in Mark 10:18  Jesus said to a rich young man, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone. 

 

Reflection from the Parish Assistant

 

Reflection for August

 

Pamela Scott DCS

 

There are always times in our lives that things don’t go so well, we find things difficult, we might be put under a lot of stress, things just don’t work out as they should.  This is life and we can’t get away from it but what we should remember is that God is always with us.  

 

Several times in Genesis 39, we read that the Lord was with Joseph.  However, that didn’t make him exempt from jealousy and betrayal, or the advances of Potiphar’s wife or the lies that sent him to prison.  Joseph had no idea that he was in training, while all this was going on.  God wanted to see if Joseph was going to choose trust over lust, obedience over dishonesty.   

 

It is when we look back over our lives that we realise why one of God’s names is REDEEMER.  He can redeem everything we have been through, whether it is good, bad or ugly.  The lesson that Joseph learned is that God was with him all the time, even when there was no evidence, He was there.  We have to remember that He is walking alongside us too.  He is going ahead of us to rearrange circumstances in our favour.  Sometimes, however, in God’s plan things can get worse before they get better.  It is at these times that we have to tighten our grip and lean harder on God.

 

We have to remember that God says in Hebrews 13:5,  

 

“Never will I leave you: 

 

never will I forsake you.”

 

 

 

 

 

HM Forces Chaplaincy

HM Forces Chaplaincy

 

Committee on Chaplains to HM Forces visit to 2Scots on November 21 2018.

 

The Committee were met in Glencorse Barracks outside Edinburgh by Padres Young and Macpherson. We took part in an act of worship in St. Andrew’s Kirk using the Armed Forces Operational Service and Prayer Book. This small book contains prayers, hymns and readings as well as shortened Forms of Burial Services for World Faiths making it inclusive. In 2014 in association with The Armed Forces’ Christian Union, Faith on the Frontline was published which gives perspective on life’s daily battles. Soldiers are often surrounded by death but have a yearning for life and this book signposts the way to life.

 

The Methodist Church has supported the Armed Forces community for many years. They provide an excellent little book, Soul Man? which encourages thinking, unlocks potential and help engender the spirit which epitomises all that is best within the military community.

 

2Scots has the most deployed operations, and this has a toll on families and personnel. Time is spent in training, being ready for and then going to operations. Different sections rotate this rota with operations including for example, in Sudan, Cyprus, Oman, Afghanistan, and Iraq, UK civil engagements, when invited by the Government, and The Royal Guard and Edinburgh Military Tattoo. There are a wide range of skills, including close combat training, intelligence, air, tank, reconnaissance. Appropriate skills are taught to military personnel in other countries allowing them to defend themselves.

 

 Each soldier takes part in a 2 year apprenticeship course providing a skill they can transfer when discharged. Most are recruited at 18 years of age for 5 year terms. Common welfare problems Chaplains and welfare officers find include some with gambling debts, relationship problems at home and isolation, alcohol and drug abuse. Young men in society today are more mentally fragile than in the past. The spirit of comradeship is not strong and many stay in their rooms latched onto social media sites not wishing to mix with their peers. However, on operation without modern technology the need to share friendships with each other is bolstered.  Team work is strong, but in isolation some find it hard coping. A drug offence results in dismissal from the army and in some instances families disown them resulting in homelessness. Such problems make it difficult to assess their ability when they return to society. The nature of warfare has not changed and men/ women still experience the same emotions as those in the past.

 

There are insufficient Church of Scotland Chaplains and more flexible methods of recruitment are being planned. Ministers can be part of the Reserve Force as well as their parish work at home. Ministers will be approached to consider attending an information day about being part of the important work of the Chaplains of HM Forces.

 

January 2019 Committee Meeting covered issues relating to the three services. All are ready for deployment if needed. Owing to a number of suicides among personnel between 20-25 years, all chaplains and leaders are taking part in the Mental Health First Aid two day course. Chaplains provide pastoral care for bereaved families where ever they reside.  Research is ongoing to compare service life with the general population regarding suicide.

 

All chaplains will complete an update in safeguarding biennially.

 

The General Assembly took place on May with Forces Chaplains and Cadet Chaplains attending. In addition I helped with the Chaplains Tent at the Heart and Soul Event.

 

My next report will include progress of developments and the annual visit.

 

Ethne Brown. (Report for summer 2019) 

 

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