Sunday 22nd

There has been a lot going on lately. My friend and colleague Shirley died, I have been working on a commission for Presbytery and developing the links between Scots and St Stephen’s congregations so that in July I begin preaching for both congregations. It would be so easy if there were an easy fix faith solution for life. Len Sweet’s image of “soulware” or “lifeware” that you simply download into your heart resonates, but we can’t leave it there.

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Sunday 8 May

I was drawn by reflections from Stanley Hauerwas on Mothers Day which invites us to reflect on the Jesus story in relations to mothers:
One of the great difficulties with being a Christian in a country like America—allegedly a Christian country—is that our familiarity with “Christianity” has made it difficult for us to read or hear Scripture. For example, consider how “Mother’s Day” makes it hard to compre hend the plain sense of some of the stories of Jesus. In Mark 3:31–35 we find Jesus surrounded by a crowd. His mother and brothers were having trouble getting through the crowd to be with Jesus. Somebody in the crowd tells him that his mom cannot get through the mass of people to be near him. Which elicits from Jesus the rhetorical question “Who are my mother and brothers?” which he answered, noting, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.” Even more forcefully Jesus says in Luke 14:26: “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple.” When you celebrate “Mother’s Day,” the only thing to do with texts like these is “explain them,” which usually means Jesus could not have meant what he plainly says.

It was tempting to follow through into the sermon but I took another path and explored Emmaus as a story which points us to the presence of God/Christ everywhere, but needing to be practised in a particular time and place with a particular community. It is not enough simply to say I am a Christian because I believe certain things (or not). It is recognising the communal aspect of our faith too.

Sent to Forgive

! May 2011
At Scots we are revisiting our Mission Statement written in 1999 with a view to a new one.
The old one replaced a full A4 page statement that had also lasted about 10 years.
Our current one is:

“We Believe Our Mission is: To be

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The light of Christ in our Community

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An open, accepting, compassionate and caring people

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Empowered by the Spirit to join in God’s action in the world”

The proclamation picks up our need to reflect as a community and links it to Jesus’ sending us out to forgive. Now that is some mission!