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"I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind." Ecclesiastes 1.14

The sight of our PM jetting away to New York for a meeting of the United Nations was a stark reminder of the outside world, following the past 10 days of official mourning which have suspended us in national grief. Adding to the poignancy, one of my prayer diaries alerted me to the fact that today is the International Day of Peace, when a further suspension may be expected - that of conflict. We shall see...

In the meantime, I offer a personal reflection on the loss and legacy which have dominated our attention in recent days (a translation follows):

’S ann dìreach ann an coimhead air ais

a thuigear cho fad ’s a thàinig sinn.

Mar an ceudna, ’s ann dìreach na call

a thuigeas sinn dè cho brìoghmhor

’s a bha a’ bhanrigh nach maireann.

Cha mhaireann sibh sa bheatha seo

ach beò bith-bhuan sa rìoghachd shuthainn.

A Mhòrachd, nach do theagaisg sibh dhuinn

adhbhar ar bith-beò aithneachadh

gus ar beatha fhèin a choisrigeadh.

Ged a bha sibh ro airidh air

cha do thaisg sibh ar moladh idir;

Ach chomharraicheadh sibh an taobh thall

gu bun ur cumhachd, an t-ionad

dom buin ur mòrachd fhìor gu bràth.

It is only in looking back

that one realises how far one has come.

Likewise, it is only in her loss

that we appreciate how noble

was the late queen.

You may be dead to this life but

but alive forever in the eternal kingdom.

Your Majesty, you taught us

to discern the reason for our existence

in order to consecrate our lives.

Though you were most worthy of it

you never hoarded our praise;

But you would point beyond

to the source of your power, wherein

lay your true greatness.



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