Weekly Update - 10 July
Dear sisters and brothers
The pubs are re-opening!
You might be surprised to read that statement as my opening to this week’s letter, and I’m certainly not encouraging everyone to rush out to the pubs. But it is interesting that the re-opening of pubs seems to be so important to so many: second only to the re-opening of hairdressers! It would be easy to be dismissive of such an attitude, or even lament the ‘drinking culture’ that exists, but I wonder if the longing for the re-opening of pubs and other social activities is an expression of the need in most people to be together with others. As the title song to the classic American comedy, Cheers put it: “Sometimes you want to be where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came”.
As Christians we believe that one of the great tragedies of our fallen world is the division and loneliness that we suffer from. In contrast we have the promise of the great feast of heaven where people from every nation, tribe, people and language will be joined together as one in Christ. It is something we long for; and something we, as the Church, are meant to point to by being a community where there is no division between male and female, rich and poor, black and white. Of course, the church is rarely the community of love and unity that we are meant to be, but particularly in the celebration of Communion we see such unity as a gift from God and God’s work amongst us. As Paul put is, “Because there is one loaf, we, who are many, are one body, for we all share the one loaf”. (1 Corinthians 10:17) When we share in that “one loaf” we are declaring our faith in the grace of God to unite us in Christ, and our commitment to live as such.
At the moment we cannot celebrate communion together, and the Kirk Session have taken the difficult decision not to celebrate it “online”. But the longing we feel to be together again around the Lord’s Table is a reminder of the longing that we feel to see all the world’s division and brokenness healed. It reminds us too that it is only in and through Jesus that such longing will be fulfilled and we have the sure and certain hope of his promises. May that same hope bring us comfort and peace in all our current struggles and longings.
Until such time as we can meet together again, we do our best to continue to encourage and support one another. I have therefore, once again, attached the materials for this coming Sunday and the activities during the week. From next Friday (14th July) Sarah, myself and our family will be on holiday for a week but the church elders and others will be available, as always, if you need any help or support.
May you know the peace and hope that comes from the promise of our eternal home together with God.
With love from myself and Sarah
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West
Tel. 01224 686929