"Were the whole realm of nature mine That were an offering far too small: Love so amazing, so divine Demands my soul, my life, my all." Such was his fondness for Isaac Watt's iconic hymn that Professional William Barclay made a point of including it in every concert of his beloved Trinity College Choir, which he re-founded and conducted - despite his deafness. An ardent Motherwell football fan, he would have enjoyed the hype surrounding this evening's big game. Yet his over-r
"Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." 2 Timothy 4.2 In our Alpha Course last night we addressed the theme of sharing faith: Why and how should I tell others (about Jesus)? When one stops to think about it there are so many reasons that it would appear to be a "no-brainer": he is God, he died our death so we can live his life, he loves us, he forgives us, he offers hope, meaning,
Among my prayer prompts today came the news that 2020 was a good year for religious freedom in Sudan. Laws were passed ending the death penalty for those who leave Islam, swiftly followed by further legislation removing Islam as the state religion. Islamic and Christian leaders united to sign a declaration outlawing religious discrimination. Hallelujah! This is not a defeat for Islam or a victory for Christianity. It is liberation for all from coercion; something that cannot
"Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy." I Peter 2.10 Is the current enthusiasm sweeping Scotland for our national football team an excuse for a burst of jingo-ism or is it an expression of social cohesion? Perhaps it is simply an antidote to the frustrations of lockdown or, more positively, a long-awaited breakthrough in the country's favourite sport? Maybe it is all of these? Does that
"I was a stranger and you invited me in..." Matthew 25.35 Mother Teresa remarked that the most distressing aspect of poverty is not the lack of basic necessities but loneliness. Not having anywhere to lay your head, or enough nutritious food to eat, or access to clean water and healthcare is bad enough. Worse still is not being precious to somebody else. Tomorrow begins Refugee Week. According to the UNHCR, 79.5 million people in the world today have been forced to flee their
"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them." John13.17 'The Story of Plastic' is horrifying but necessary. The film charts how this miracle material came out of nowhere to epitomise and dominate the western, consumer lifestyle, which has proved to be the envy of the world - to their and our cost. We are now choking in the stuff. Our rivers and oceans are clogging up with it. Wildlife is getting poisoned, strangled and entwined in it. We kid ourselves
"I will make them and the places surrounding my hill a blessing. I will send down showers in season; there will be showers of blessing." Ezekiel 34.26 So the G7 Summit begins today and amid the glad-handing and photo opportunities, discussions will be held, commitments made and decisions taken - with far-reaching consequences. How shall we navigate together out of the pandemic? What support will there be for poorer countries? Can we secure ourselves against future outbreaks?
If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Proverbs 24.12 It was hard to stifle a mixture of mirth and sympathy on behalf of the residents of St Ives, Cornwall in their bemusement at the descent of world leaders for the G7 Summit this weekend. I'd like to think, though, that if they ever came to Skye, we'd be ready. Indeed the airstrip is adjacent to our own village! On arrival, the first place I would want them to visit is at
In 453AD the Council of Calcedon agreed a formula to express how Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. Who cares? Well, the implications are significant. First of all, it confirms that Jesus was not just a good man, or a great teacher. He was God, Creator of the Universe, almighty and eternal. Yet at the same time, in entering creation and being born from the womb of Mary, he went through the formative process that goes into making a human-being just like the rest of u
"... to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up..." Ephesians 4.12 Today is a "red letter day" for at least two reasons: My godson celebrates his 21st birthday - many happy returns, Archie! And the congregation of which I have been Interim Moderator since returning to Skye over 6 years ago celebrates the arrival of a new minister (mu dheireadh thall). Though very different, both occasions have in common that they are rites of passage.