I have started posting a video midweek thought on the church facebook page. I will be going through Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians so head over to Facebook and check it out.
Due to the coronavirus we cannot distribute the parish magazine. However it is now available to read on the church’s website so please read it there. Thank you to Malcolm and Martin for organising this.
To view there is a link on the home page, or its available under the information tab on the website.
The uptake and response on yesterday’s service has been staggering. The numbers were through the roof. We will continue to offer the online service as long as we can. The evening prayer time from 6 – 7 is going to have to stop effective immediately however. It is simply exposing people to risk unnecessarily.
In the daily lectionary for today the gospel is John 6: 1 – 15, the feeding of the five thousand. It was a time when Jesus supplied what the people needed while not necessarily providing what they wanted, for they wanted to make him their king. Jesus will provide us with what we need. His grace is sufficient for all. Rest in that knowledge.
The Church of Scotland is cancelling all services effective immediately and so sadly Kinnoull will be closed for worship for the foreseeable future. However I will produce a short service of prayers and meditations each Sunday during this crisis which will be livestreamed at 10.30am. I also intend, starting on Wednesday 18th to open the church for prayer daily from 6 – 7pm. I will be there each evening to hear concerns should you wish to speak to me. Entrance will be through the front door and exit through the door where Upper Springland usually enter. If coming in for prayer please keep a six foot radius between you and others in the church and do not sit together to lessen the chance of infection.
If you missed Sunday’s service or just want to experience it again, go to
it will remain available for the rest of the week.
Galatians 3: 1 – 4 says this according to The Message: –
Trust in Christ, Not the Law
3 You crazy Galatians! Did someone put a hex on you? Have you taken leave of your senses? Something crazy has happened, for it’s obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives. His sacrifice on the cross was certainly set before you clearly enough.
2-4 Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!”
One of the things to bear in mind as you go through life is to have a sense of proportion. If I arrived in church on a Sunday morning and found the sanctuary full of rubbish and beer cans I would immediately call around some church members and ask them to come down early to tidy the place. If I see a spider’s web on the other hand then I might flick it away but I certainly would not panic and call out the members for a full scale cleaning operation.
The Galatians, according to this had lost their sense of proportion. They had forgotten just how important and how central to their salvation was the cross. The crucifixion and its meaning is the central fact of the Christian faith to which every other aspect is secondary.
Remember this and keep a sense of proportion in your Christian faith.
As of this Sunday, Kinnoull Parish Church is going live. You will be able to log on to this website and worship with us from your hospital bed, nursing home or holiday villa! The service will go live from 10.20am and will remain available on the website for the week or until the next service that is broadcast. This is an exciting departure for the church as we try to better minister to the nursing homes, housebound, those in hospital and even those on holiday. We hope that whatever your situation, this will be a blessing to you.
One of the paragraphs that has always struck me about the Christmas story is in Luke’s Gospel. After the shepherds come to see the baby we read:-
“So the shepherds hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”
One of the reasons that the paragraph is so striking is Mary’s reaction to the Shepherds tale. She treasured all the things they said and pondered them in her heart. It seems to me that in the 21st century the one thing we do not do at Christmas is ponder. We are not asking what does it all mean? We are not taking the time to sit quietly and meditate on all that the shepherds, the Magi and the young couple experienced. It is all too frenetic, it is all too rushed. There is so much to be done and so little time to do it.
I want to encourage you this advent and Christmas season to make time. Read the prophecies concerning the Messiah in the Old Testament, read the Gospel stories leading up to and including the birth of Christ. Sit quietly in a corner with your bible and ponder, what does this mean for me, for my family, for my church and for my community. A little more pondering and a little less frenetic activity might just make all the difference to your celebration.
Some years ago my mother in law gave me a sweatshirt for Christmas. It has become my advent sweatshirt and today I have dug it out again for this year. It simply says, “Jesus is coming, Look busy!” I do not just have to look busy this advent, I am busy, the church is busy. We have primary school nativity lays and an end of term assembly. We have special services at Gladstone Court and Kincarrathie house, we have celebrations going on all over the place as we celebrate Jesus is coming. Most of all we are celebrating that Jesus became flesh and blood and moved into the neighbourhood, as The message expressed it. This we are putting into practice by inviting the neighbourhood into the church with a whole host of activities planned for the New Year. The Church is going to be a busy vibrant place full of fun, fellowship and joy. So come along join us for one or more of the following activities:-
Badminton (Adults):- Thursday’s, 10.00 to 12.00, Ian Brown, 551947
Baking for beginners:- Tuesday’s, 10.00 to 12.00, Elizabeth Drysdale, 07974114952
Blether Buddies*, main hall:- Last Wednesday of each month, 14.30 to 16.00, Stella McIntosh, 561998
Book Club, upper hall:- Thursday’s, 19.00 to 21.00, Tim Fletcher, 638189
Carpet bowls, indoor putting & possibly indoor “kurling”:- Monday’s, 10.00 to 12.00, Hugh Brown, 451563
Coffee and Cake for all plus Messy Play for parents & children, main hall:- Friday’s, 9.30 to 11.00, during school term, Fiona Alexander, 561593
Model making, upper hall:- Friday’s, 10.00 to 12.00, Hugh Wark, 620531
Photography Club, upper hall:- Wednesday’s, 10.00 to 12.00, Chic Currie, 627294
Short Tennis (Juniors), main hall:- 1st, 2nd & 3rd Wednesday of each month during school term, 15.15 to 17.00, Billy McLaren, 633719
Table Tennis, upper hall:- Thursday’s, 10.00 to 12.00, Ian Brown, 551947
Thursday Club*:- 1st Thursday of each month, September to May, 14.30 to 16.00, Marjory McGregor, 634785
A few weeks ago on Facebook there was a post that just said: “As I get older and I remember all the people I have lost along the way, I think to myself, maybe a career as a tour guide wasn’t for me!”
I was reminded of that last week as I read the opening chapter of a book called “A long obedience in the same direction.” It is a book all about spiritual growth and the author laments at the beginning that the people he leads in worship, among whom he counsels, visits, prays, preaches and teaches want short cuts. they are impatient for results and have adopted the lifestyle of tourists, only wanting the high points. But a pastor is not a tour guide and hitting the highlights and providing shortcuts is not what we are about. Spiritual growth is a journey that is long and sometimes tortuous, and like anything worth pursuing takes time and effort. If we are to be pilgrims and disciples we need to devote our lives to a journey, a long journey that only ends at the gates of heaven while we live as disciples apprentices to our master Jesus Christ.
I am not a tour guide, just a fellow pilgrim. Come let us take a long walk together.