Weekly Update - 19th June

Dear sisters and brothers

One of the most famous things that Jesus said was, “‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”  (Matthew 11:27-29).  There are many things in life which can weary and burden us, and the thought of rest is a very welcome one.  Yet it’s interesting that Jesus describes coming to him in terms of putting on a yoke (an instrument of work) and learning.  Sometimes we just want to stop and lie down (and to be fair Jesus does at times lead his disciples to places where they can do that) but true rest is found in serving Jesus, it would seem.

Near the beginning of the pandemic, as we all went into the first lockdown not knowing what was to come, an email was sent from the Church head offices to all ministers offering support and encouragement.  It was good to get and it understandably encouraged us to prioritise our own health and well-being and not put ourselves at any unnecessary risk.  As I read that encouragement, however, it seemed a strangely odd thing to write to those who have been called in to Christian ministry.  Indeed, it seemed an odd thing to write to any Christians.  Are we not called to prioritise the health and well-being of others over ourselves?  Is not taking risks in order to care for others exactly what following Jesus entails?   Of course we are no use to anyone if we don’t take care of ourselves – but focussing on ourselves doesn’t seem to be the best way to be of use to God.  The dichotomy is, however, a false one as we are in fact called to abandon our lives in the service of Jesus which will at times mean risking all for the service of others, but is also the best and only way for us to truly ‘care for ourselves’ and find the fullness of life that Jesus promised.

Part of the reason I’ve been thinking about these things is because we are about to go on holiday for three weeks and I’m looking forward to a bit of rest and relaxation: to looking after my own health and well-being.  But I also know that all the holidays in the world are no substitute for finding my rest in Christ.

Being on holiday, however, means that I won’t be able to write my weekly letter for three weeks and so this mailing will be the last one until the middle of July.  Over the coming four Sundays pre-recorded services will continue to be broadcast on YouTube and on the phones.  Attached to this letter are the words for each of these services as well as a church notice sheet covering the next few weeks.

From the 18th July we will be returning to the Community Centre on Sunday mornings, with services at 11am each Sunday.  Those services will also be broadcast on YouTube and over the phones, as numbers attending them will be limited, but I would really encourage you to come to worship on a Sunday morning if you possibly can.

Whilst we are away, please feel free to contact any of the church elders if you are in need in any way: their contact details are on the enclosed sheet.  And please also be assured that Sarah and myself will continue to be praying for you all.

With love from Sarah and myself,

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Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
ABERDEEN
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929

iaitken@churchofscotland.org.uk
www.stockethillchurch.org.uk

Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587

 

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