Weekly Update - 2nd September

Dear sisters and brothers

After a couple of weeks absence due to my holidays, here is this weeks email.

As those of you who watch the daily prayers on YouTube might have noticed, I do like a good cardigan.  On Monday I put one on for the first time in weeks and, as I did so, realised that the good summer we have had is beginning to turn onto autumn.  Perhaps I’m being premature (even pessimistic) but I definitely felt a nip in the air – and I did enjoy pulling on my cosy cardigan again!

As someone said to me recently, this time of year is often a time when things begin to “get back to normal”: the schools have re-opened, activities that stopped for the summer are restarting, and holidays are over.  On the other hand, as we head in to autumn this year it feels far from normal.  That ‘nip in the air’ doesn’t bode well when faced with the rising cost of energy; the children might be back at school but some are likely to have extra days at home as school staff become the latest to go on strike; holidays seem like a far off luxury for many who are going to struggle just to make basic ends meet.

I certainly don’t want to downplay the challenges facing not only our country, but the whole world.  And I know that many of us are facing particularly difficult personal circumstances just now.  But the changing seasons remind us that the challenges and changes of life come and go.  The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us in a famous passage, There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).  The short book of Ecclesiastes sets out to tell us that through everything we experience, whether good or bad, the only true and constant thing that we can rely upon is the goodness and grace of God.  Jesus constantly tells us the same thing – calling us to build our lives upon trusting in him and keeping our eyes fixed on him.  As Paul suggests in Philippians 4:4-9, when we make our relationship with God the central priority of our lives it leads to a peace that passes all understanding and Jesus displaces worry at the heart of your life (Phil 4:7 The Message paraphrase).

My dear friends, whatever you are facing in the coming weeks and months, I want to urge you to make Jesus your first priority: loving him; discovering his love; serving him; centring your life on him.  It might seem simplistic to say that this is the key to life lived well, but it is true.  And while it is simple to say, we all know that it is not so simple to do.  Thankfully, God has given us three great gifts to help us: the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and each other in the church.  

So as summer turns to autumn, like pulling on an old familiar cardigan, perhaps it is time to make some small changes that can make a big difference in your life.  Might it be that you need to find more time to sit quietly in God’s presence?  How could you let the Bible become more prominent in your life?  Perhaps you need to get back to church or to meet more regularly with your fellow Christians – either on a Sunday morning or at another time?  However you do it, Jesus needs to take a greater and greater place at the centre of your life and you cannot do it alone.  Neither can I.  So please pray for me as I pray for you.


Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929


Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587


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