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a wee reflection on the week ...
boys brigade website
In 1917 the Boys Brigade set up the Boy Reserves to cater for under twelves, which is why this year the Junior Section celebrates its 100th anniversary. This is the focus of our theme this Sunday especially at East Craigs where the officers and boys will participate in their Dedication Service.
It was a different world then … and clearly the BB was part of a whole movement to help shape boys (for it was boys) to become moral leaders in society and also potential military men. The Christian faith was seen as intertwined with good standards, moral fibre, and a secure and stable society.
Since that time, many things have changed … everything from travel, to fashion, to en suite bathrooms, to a MacDonalds on every corner, and of course, the declining belief in the Christian faith as a central thread in societies life. Not everyone has always been an enthusiast for uniformed organisations, with some (especially in the West) regarding the BB as little more than a training ground for the Masons. We also forget that at its inception BB Drill included the carrying of wooden rifles. However, over the years it has changed and adapted and modernised, while at its heart retaining the very fundamental belief of its core … “the advancement of Christ’s kingdom among boys”. For that advancement of Christ’s kingdom is not only about enabling and encouraging faith among youngsters. The advancement of the kingdom is also about enabling boys and girls to recognise the kingdom already within them and alive around them. So many people have been grateful for what the Boys Brigade offered them in enabling and encouraging their creativity and fulfil their potential, from Sir Alex Ferguson to Mr Boom.
Many changes have taken place over these 100 years, and although we all feel anxious or even threatened by change, some change is merely shifting the focus, recognising and enabling the gifts we already have but perhaps do not value, fulfilling who we are and not necessarily ‘changing’ who we are. There is something about that in the gospels and wee Zacchaeus is a classic example. Hiding up a tree, Jesus helped him recognise the true value of his life and how that life could be gifted to helping others and fulfilling his vocation. May the BB continue to advance Christ’s Kingdom and help realise the potential of so many.
this sunday’s service
Luke 19.1-10; Isaiah 1.10-18; 2 Thessalonians 1.1-4,11-12; Psalm 32.1-7
Psalm 32:1-7 Confession and Forgiveness
32 Happy are those whose sins are forgiven,
whose wrongs are pardoned.
2 Happy is the one whom the Lord does not accuse of doing wrong
and who is free from all deceit.
3 When I did not confess my sins,
I was worn out from crying all day long.
4 Day and night you punished me, Lord;
my strength was completely drained,
as moisture is dried up by the summer heat.
5 Then I confessed my sins to you;
I did not conceal my wrongdoings.
I decided to confess them to you,
and you forgave all my sins.
6 So all your loyal people should pray to you in times of need;
when a great flood of trouble comes rushing in,
it will not reach them.
7 You are my hiding place;
you will save me from trouble.
I sing aloud of your salvation,
because you protect me.
Zacchaeus Edmond Manning
Luke 19:1-10 Jesus and Zacchaeus
19 Jesus went on into Jericho and was passing through. 2 There was a chief tax collector there named Zacchaeus, who was rich. 3 He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was a little man and could not see Jesus because of the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead of the crowd and climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, who was going to pass that way. 5 When Jesus came to that place, he looked up and said to Zacchaeus, “Hurry down, Zacchaeus, because I must stay in your house today.”
6 Zacchaeus hurried down and welcomed him with great joy. 7 All the people who saw it started grumbling, “This man has gone as a guest to the home of a sinner!”
8 Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Listen, sir! I will give half my belongings to the poor, and if I have cheated anyone, I will pay back four times as much.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also, is a descendant of Abraham. 10 The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
COMMENTS ON READINGS
Think of what Zacchaeus was avoiding when he climbed that tree. Avoiding those who were bigger and stronger? Avoiding the truth? Avoiding the admission of who he was and what he was doing? Avoiding admitting to how he treated others? Avoiding change? Then Jesus looked at him and held his gaze. And he climbed down and faced up to the truth. And he changed.
A SEA CHANGE
Poem used at Autumn Space service last Sunday evening
More than leaves fall
Countries, empires, people
Come to autumn and winter
Spiralling down from their heights
To become one with the ground
Compost and seed for the future
Renewing the face of the earth
Nothing on earth is ever truly lost
All goes through a sea change
Everything has tides and seasons
And in their present fall are seeds
The gifts and promises of new life
Every molecule knows it can become
Part of what it has never been before
Creator, with a wonderful precision
Seeding the world.
Let us adore.
The Reflection and Sunday Service is taken from the weEbulletin which the minister emails each week to those interested whether or not they belong to the church. If you wish to be on the mailing list please let the minister, Stewart McPherson know.
You can have a look at a weEbulletin by clicking here.