Weekly Update 21st August
Dear sisters and brothers
“We live in strange times”, is a phrase that I have heard myself and others use often in these last few months, and we certainly feel as if things are not as they should be. But are they ever? Writing to early Christians, Peter told them that they were “aliens and strangers in the world” (1 Peter 2:11) which, it seems to me, means that we should always feel out of place somewhat. Peter reminds them that the important thing is to live consistently with the way of Jesus in whatever circumstances they find themselves in. Whilst that is not easy, by doing so we reveal to the world around us something of the reality of the Kingdom of God.
We know the way we should live: we should be a people of prayer and a people who love. Love shows itself in the good deeds that we do, and there has been much of that in these days, but also in other ways. As the pandemic continues and we continue to feel the effects of it on our lives, there is a real danger that barriers and divisions increase between people. There is a tendency to become fearful of others who might, unwittingly, do us harm; and there is a temptation to blame others who, through ignorance, thoughtlessness or wilful selfishness, have put other people at risk. The Christian form of love is one which lowers barriers and bridges divisions, and it does so through forgiveness and self-giving. These are the character traits that we are to cultivate in our lives, though it is not easy to do so, especially when we cannot be together around the Lord’s Table where such love is revealed to us and we are nourished with the grace we need to live this way. It is all the more important, therefore, that we are prayerful and that we spend time reading or listening to the Word of God in the Bible. There are many ways to do those things, but for some the mid-day prayers on the phone or on YouTube are a helpful discipline.
In these strange times may we, who are already strangers in the world, live according to Christ’s way of forgiveness, self-sacrifice and love.
Next week Sarah and I are taking a few days off (whether we are able to leave Aberdeen is another matter) but, as always, if you need any help in any way please do not hesitate to contact one of the church elders. Attached to this letter are the words for next Sunday’s service as well as the notice sheet which has the events being run in the church and some prayer materials.
May you know the peace and presence of the Lord Jesus Christ.
With love from Sarah and myself,
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West
Tel. 01224 686929