Weekly Update - 3rd March 2023

Dear sisters and brothers

As you may know, I’m a bit of a tennis fan.  During the major tennis championships, matches can sometimes last into the small hours of the morning.  At this year’s Australian Open, Andy Murray finished one match a little after 4.00am!  You’d think that the players would go straight to their beds in such circumstances but, as I understand it, they first make sure that they get a proper ‘warm down’ (which can involve a massage and an ice bath) and perhaps get something to eat.  They have a tried and tested routine which, even in exceptional circumstances, they stick to because they know that it is best for them.

It may not be the best analogy, but it is important that we learn the habits which are good for us so that in exceptional circumstances we can stick to them.  Paul often compared our life of faith to a long-distance race in which the important thing is how we finish.  Jesus said that we were not to worry about tomorrow because we can trust in God to provide; but he also said that we should look ahead and make sure that we can finish what we have started.  

It is often said that it is a good thing that we don’t know what is before us, and yet we can be fairly certain that there will be testing times: times when grief will knock us sideways; times of disappointment or hurt; times when we will become frailer and less able – not least as we grow older.  This is the reality of life.  For Christians, however, we also have the reality of hope – a hope which is greater than all of life’s difficulties.  That hope is found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  As a good friend, and well-loved member of our congregation, so often says, “Jesus loves you – the best is yet to come!”

We need to learn the habits now which will help us to sustain that hope when the difficult times come, and not wait until we are in the midst of them or we feel that it is too late.  The season of Lent, as we deliberately turn our attention towards Easter, can be a good time to reassess our habits.  Many will ‘give something up’ for Lent – but if you are to do that, then try and make sure that you are doing it in order to centre your life more on Jesus.  Perhaps you could use this time to reflect on your ‘spiritual disciplines’ – what you are doing to strengthen your faith.  Perhaps you could spend some time assessing what your priorities are – what is dominating your time and attention – and what is being driven out.  Building the right habits now, with an eye to the future, will enable you to run your race and to finish well (2 Timothy4:6-8).

As well as the usual weekly words and notices, I’ve attached a brief update on each of the congregations that make up our church.  Please do pray for the church and if you haven’t been at one of the services recently, it would be wonderful to see you.  Of course, it is wonderful to see you at any time, but I’m particularly keen to offer my support and prayers in times of need.  If, for example, you find yourself unwell or in hospital, please ask a relative or friend to let me know (that is if you would like to see me!).  As always, you remain in our prayers. 

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


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