Weekly Update - 27 June
Dear sisters and brothers
Last Friday we celebrated our son’s 20th birthday (I’ll give some of you a moment to take that in). As many of you will have found, celebrations of birthdays, anniversaries, graduations and the like, are very different at the moment. My mother, for example, has only missed being with us on one of his previous 19 birthdays. But of course it isn’t only the Lockdown that made his celebration different. The passing of time has obvious consequences, and his ‘party’ was very different at 20 from what it was at 2 (although there was, I admit, still chocolate cake and balloons). But why did we make as much fuss of him at 20 as we did at 2 or 12 or any age? Because we love him and we want him to know our love. And the reason we want him to know our love is because we know the difference that can make. To know you are loved, for who you are and not what you do, is one of the most important foundation stones in our lives. Of course, all and any children will take wrong turns now and again despite that love: just remember the story of the Prodigal Son. But it is often because of that love, that they can take some risks, and it is because of that love that they can often be caught when they fall (there’s that story again).
In his letter to Titus, Paul is writing to one whom he considers to be his “true son in our common faith”. He encourages Titus, who is teaching and leading the Church on Crete, to stress some important truths in his teaching. Firstly that the love of God which results in our salvation, has been poured out upon us, not because of anything that we have done, but because God loves us for who we are (3:4-6). Secondly, that because of this love and salvation, we have the “hope of eternal life” (verse 7). That is not simply to say that we have been assured of a place in heaven (although that is true and brings us great hope). Rather it is to say that the love of God for us is never ending and never failing: and that brings us great hope. And finally, Paul says, that knowing these things will result in our doing good (verse 8), because we have the confidence and assurance of an eternal love.
We know that life is full of change: some temporary and some permanent. There are things we wish we could get back to, and hopes we have for the future. And we change – even daily. But there is one thing that does not change and that is the love of God for us his children. God rejoices in us and daily tells us of his love through his Word. May the knowledge of that love give you confidence and hope today.
As always I have included information about the events in the church next week and the songs for this Sunday’s service. Please note that there is a new prayer meeting on a Wednesday afternoon at 4pm when church members will be coming together online to pray for the church, it’s work and those in need. You are welcome to join us, but we would also be glad to hear from you if there is something you would like us to pray for, either for yourself or someone you know.
Sarah and I send our love to you,
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West