Weekly Update - 5th July 2024

Dear sisters and brothers
The General Election is over and a new Prime Minister and Government is in place.  Whoever you voted for, please pray for the new Government and MPs, and for our own MP, Kirsty Blackwood.

Did you vote?  The turnout would suggest that around half of those reading this didn't.  But don't worry because  I voted three times!  I’m didn't commit election fraud.  Rather, because two of my family members were away from home on the day, they organised for me to vote on their behalf as their proxy (and gave me strict instructions as to who to cast their vote for).  Not only was it quite fun having to ask for three ballot papers, but I was pleased that my family take voting seriously enough to organise a proxy.  It has always seemed important to me that we cast our vote.
I can, however, understand why some people may feel that it is a bit of a pointless exercise (and might be more inclined to put a bet on the result than actually vote!).  On the one hand some people feel that their single vote is going to make so little difference, that it isn’t worth bothering.  Others may feel that the choice isn’t very inspiring (although I am making no comment on our own local candidates).  When we hear about the betting scandal, for example, or of politicians acting without integrity and with self-interest, it is no wonder that some people, at least, don’t bother voting for anyone.
We know how important integrity is.  When the mother of James and John approached Jesus on their behalf to see if she could secure them the seats on his left and right “in his Kingdom” (Matthew 20:20ff) you get the feeling that there was more than a little scheming and manipulating going on.  The other disciples were indignant when they heard about it, we’re told.  Their reaction reminds us of the way that manipulating, scheming and the like cause division and distrust.  That’s arguably one of the biggest challenges facing our politics just now.  Jesus reacts to the division by reminding all involved of the need to become a servant of others, just as he had come not to be served but to serve.
We need to remember, however, that Jesus wasn’t talking to politicians or those seeking political power.  He was talking to his followers: people like you and me.  It’s easy for us to become indignant at the behaviour of those in power, yet it is important to look at our own lives and ask whether we are behaving with integrity in all things.  We might think that our small actions have no real effect on the big picture of our society, but whenever we act without integrity we add to the division, disunity and distrust that so easily damages.  And when we act with integrity in all things, we serve those closest to us and society as a whole.  We quite simply become servants of the Kingdom that James and John were so keen to be part of.
During the summer months many in the congregation may be travelling.  If you are, then safe travels; and if not then let us pray for those who are.  If you have not joined us at a service recently, whether in Woodhill Court, Stocket Grange, or the Community Centre, can I encourage you to do so.  Your presence makes a big difference – bigger than you might think – and I hope that joining in worship with your fellow Christians will make a big difference to you.
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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