Weekly Update - 18th March

Dear sisters and brothers

We live in strange times!  I wonder how often I’ve written those words in my letters since the first lockdown came into effect exactly two years ago. In around a fortnight we expect the last of the COVID restrictions to be lifted, for better or worse.  Yet, despite that, it does still feel like we are continuing to live in strange times.  Of course, the war in Ukraine is dominating our TV screens, thoughts and prayers; whilst the threatened “cost of living crisis” is causing a great deal of anxiety.

On the other hand, just how strange are these times?  I suspect that we’ve seen their like before and we will see their like again.  Someone recently lamented to me, “I began my life during a time of war in Europe and now at the end of my life there is war in Europe once again”. This has made me think about the well-known quote from the book of Ecclesiastes: “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Eccl 1:9).   Not only is that true of the great world events, but I suspect that, for many of us, it is true in our lives as well.  We do have a tendency to repeat mistakes or struggle with the same things time and time again (or is that just me!).

Before you give up on this letter as being too depressing, let me just mention one more thing that comes round time and again: the seasons of Lent and Easter.  During this time of the year we can reflect on the one decisive event in history and in our lives which was ‘new under the sun”: the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.  Jesus did not promise that wars would cease, illness be banished or injustice end – let alone that our lives would be trouble free.  At least, not until he returns again.  But he did promise that with the coming of his Kingdom into the world, we could live differently in the midst of all these things.  That we could live with hope and peace and in a way that brings hope and peace.  In order to do that we need to centre our lives upon him.  By ‘giving things up for Lent’, some people use this time of year to do just that; but we can make the decision to put Jesus at the centre of our lives at any and all times.  When we do, we draw closer to the wisdom of the writer of Ecclesiastes who teaches us to be thankful and content with the life we have, whilst trusting in and relying upon the God of creation and history.

Recently a member of our congregation died after a long life that was in some ways simple and in many ways rich.  Just before she died she told me that she “counted her blessings every evening”.  Perhaps she had found something of that same wisdom during a life that spanned nearly a century and had known war, economic trouble, and heart ache and yet was rooted in a profound faith in Jesus as her saviour. 

As we go through these strange times that are not, after all, quite so strange, let us pray for the people of Ukraine, do all we can to help those who are struggling, and reach out for the support we ourselves need. But as we do so let us also put our trust in love of the Father, the work of the Son and the power of the Holy Spirit, giving thanks to God in all things.  And, as always, please know that I am praying for you and am here to offer what help and support I can.

The service in the Community Centre this Sunday is a celebration of Communion: I have attached the words we will be using along with the usual bits and pieces.  We also have our service in Stocket Grange at 10am to which everyone is welcome.



Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929


Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587


Worship Materials

Communion Words

Weekly Notices