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Ash Wednesday

I went to a Church service on Ash Wednesday.  I did not participate in the imposition of Ashes.  Why? Simply because I still don’t fully understand why we do it but also because of the following verses from Matthew’s Gospel where it says

16when you fast, do not be like the hypocrites, with a sad countenance. For they disfigure their faces that they may appear to men to be fasting. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. 17But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, 18so that you do not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.
As I observed yesterday’s service, I couldn’t help but wonder if we were going to the past.  The feeling that I got was that Christ will have to be crucified all over again!  Nowhere in the service were we reminded that this was just a commemoration.  Given my Protestant background, the question I had was if as we say in our services that Christ has died, Christ has risen and Christ will come again….. why then do we go back to the past?
Up in the highlands of Scotland, during Communion seasons (communions are only held four times a year*).  As people came to part-take in the communion, they would be dressed in black from head to toe.  Sadly they commemorated the death of Christ but seem to ignore the great truth that Christ was raised from the dead on the third day and that He is now at the right hand of God the Father.   Again, they too are holding on to the past and are struggling to move forward.
*I will have to write a whole new blogpost explaining the communion seasons!!!
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Absent Friends

In January 2018 alone, we heard of three deaths.  Deaths of men whom we knew very well from our Scotland days.   Usually when I hear of a death, I like to spend some time thinking about the person and usually the good times that I have had with them.   Sadly, it is not always possible to go to the funerals.

As  I did my usual thinking, I was very quickly reminded that we had lost contact with all three of them. Why??? I kept asking myself before I came up with the following reason.

It is a peculiar reason but every time we move away, the relationship begins to cool.  Phone calls and letters go unanswered.  It is genuinely sad because we had such good times together and we had promised to pray for one another and to keep in touch.

I still don’t know the real reason why this is the case….

As  I mourn the loss of my friends who I once held dear….. I prefer to hold on to the good memories I have had with them.

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The Passion Play

The Mhinisteir has been invited to play the role of Jesus in the Passion Play.   Initially I thought he will be doing a voice over from behind the curtains so I was shocked to learn that he will actually be acting!

My first thought was “will he be hanging on the cross semi naked”????????

The play is being organised by a neighbouring Church in the run up to Good Friday.

I might do a post play entry to reveal if the minister did hang on the cross semi naked!!!!!! Watch the space!

 

 

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Neighbours – Everybody need good Neighbours!

Just last week we heard the sad news that our former neighbour from the Scottish Highlands had died very suddenly. DM was a widower who lived with his dog Murphy. His Brother NM  and Sister-in-law lived next door to him.  Our manse faced both their houses.

They together with the rest in the village made excellent neighbours. We didn’t have burglar alarms or any other security feature.  One day in my excitement to go to the supermarket, I left the keys in the keyhole after locking the door.  As you might have guessed, thankfully nothing happened.

Our neighbours knew what time our bedroom lights went off each night and who our visitors were! Yes, it did feel like being in a goldfish bowl and yes there were times when I wished that we didn’t have neighbours!  But it was these same neighbours who kept a close eye on our house and helped with our bins etc when we went away on holidays.  They were the ones who shared their meat with us after they have been to the abbatoir with their animals and whenever they had fresh eggs and vegetables in abundance. Never expecting anything in return.

Here in No 130, we are surrounded by houses but are struggling to get to know our neighbours.  The Minister and I have made conscious effort to speak to then neighbours and to get to know them but they seem to prefer to keep to themselves. It is probably a city thing.   Having come from close knit communities I am struggling to be without neighbours whom I can wave/chat to.   Back in the highlands, I used to wave goodnight to one of my neighbours Mrs M every single night from my kitchen window!

I have learnt the painful lesson that it is better to have nosy neighbours than no neighbours.