Saturday, 31 October 2015

With all the saints...

Hebrews 12:1-2a
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith...
To understand the present, we have to look to the past. Many of the traditions in our congregations that bewilder, challenge or comfort us today are rooted in the stories of communities evolving and growing together. Each congregation has a unique story of how it came to be in a particular time or place, how it developed its foibles and quirks and, if we want to move into the future together, we must first listen to and understand the stories of the past.
The Church of Scotland has a rich heritage, serving every part of Scotland and "furth of Scotland". Each parish has a story to share, a story to be honoured even and especially in times of change. Being reformed and constantly reforming involves finding creative ways to celebrate and, where necessary redeem the past as we move into the future.
Journeying with scripture, we gain the awareness that we do not journey alone, each of us builds on the work of another and, together, we stand in line, part of a continuum. A continuum of love, of persistence, of adaptation and of blessing.
We are empowered by the Spirit of God to continue the journey in the company of saints - the living and the dead. We are encouraged by that same Spirit to forge new paths, not with disdain for the old but out of the cognisance that God continues to relate to each new age in unique ways, inviting us on a journey of discovery.
As people of God today, we are called to honour what has gone before by following God on a new path in company with all the saints, past, present and future, discovering God, already there.

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