Weekly Update - 3rd February 2023

Dear sisters and brothers

A number of years ago I had the privilege of visiting Rome to attend a Europe wide Church conference for “young leaders” (it was a long number of years ago!).  The conference itself was stimulating, but so was the city.  One afternoon, as I was walking quickly to a meeting, I came to a cross-roads.  Conscious of the reputation of Roman drivers, I was careful to look first left and then right before crossing: but I never made it across the road.  When I looked right, there at the bottom of the hill stood the Colosseum.  It was like nothing I had ever seen before and nothing I would see again.  I had a decision to make: go on to the meeting or abandon it and take my one chance to visit one of the, so called, seven wonders of the world.  There was no choice.  I’ve been in my fair share of meetings with church folk over the years but the Colosseum remains a highlight.  My only mistake was that I hadn’t planned to visit it in the first place.

I could continue this letter by writing about the dangers of temptation and being distracted from the purpose that God has called us to.  There would be some truth in that.  Or I could continue this letter by writing about beauty, awe and wonder.  About how we need such things in our life.  About how such things put our lives into perspective, inspire our souls, and lift our spirits into the realms of joy and hope.

Two passages of scripture come to mind as I think on these things.  One is the well-known story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42).   Martha is busy doing ‘the right thing’, and yet she is the one who is described as being “distracted”.  Mary sits at the feet of Jesus “listening to what he said”, and you get the impression that she is enraptured by the beauty, awe and wonder of his words and of him.  The other passage is Psalm 27 where David writes that the one thing he seeks is to spend all his days gazing upon “the fair beauty of the Lord” (verse 4).  It isn’t that David has nothing better to do.  His days are in fact full of trouble and there are enemies all around.  He is struggling in many ways and has questions about what God is doing.  Nor is his desire to spend his life in the house of the Lord a form of escapism.  Rather he knows that if he wants to begin to understand God and if he wants the strength and wisdom to live his life well, he must seek the beauty, awe and wonder of God.

Taking time to worship, think about, and dwell on the goodness, greatness, graciousness and glory of God is not indulgence or a waste of time, but the very thing that our spirit, souls and lives need.  As you perhaps hurry along in your life, I pray that not only might you be suddenly stopped in your tracks by the beauty and magnificence of God, but that you might be sensible enough to plan for such moments by spending time at the feet of Jesus through your Bible, in prayer and in worship.

As promised in my previous letters, I have included a report from the latest Kirk Session meeting as a way of keeping people informed.  There is also the church notices for this month.  Although we have moved to a monthly mailing, please be assured that I continue to pray for you and please do contact me if I can be of any help at all.    

With love from Sarah and myself

Rev. Ian Aitken

52 Ashgrove Road West
AB16 5EE
Tel. 01224 686929


Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587


Worship Materials

Weekly Notices

Kirk Session Report January 2023