Friday 19th March 2021
Where do we belong?
Unto the Lord belongs the Earth
And all that it contains
Except the Kyles and Western Isles
For they belong to MacBraynes
A tongue in cheek article (accompanied by a famous misquotation of Psalm 24) appeared in the news this morning suggesting that Caledonian MacBrayne should take over the Scotrail franchise. This could result in:
Trains from Glasgow which actually connect with the ferry in Mallaig
Scotrail trollies now offering Lamb Bhuna and Fish and Half Chips/Half Rice
Proper pronunciation of all the placenames on the West and North Highland Lines
45-minute check-in times
A new Black and Red paint job for all the trains.
A passive aggressive man with a moustache handing you your pre-booked tickets.
Having travelled with CalMac on several occasions and visited most of the Outer and Inner Hebrides, there is something rather magical in crossing water to reaching your destination. It makes the transition from work to holiday that wee bit easier! What is clear is the islands (including Orkney & Shetland) have a different ‘feel’ and culture when compared to the mainland. It is amazing how Scotland being a relatively small country can have so much diversity.
1 Peter 1:1
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,
To God’s elect, exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia,
But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Saviour from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,
Peter in the opening greeting of his letter makes reference to a couple of interesting words. His first word is elect, which could be translated as chosen. This is a bit of theological minefield regarding election or freewill. Did God choose us, or did we choose God – or is the answer somewhere in the middle? There is mystery here and much disagreement!
Peter’s second word is ‘exiles.’ Here Peter is addressing the first generation of Christian believers scattered through the different provinces of the Roman empire. The word exiles could also be translated as foreigners or strangers or refugee or sojourners. Out of these words, sojourner is perhaps the best translation. In the Bible the term sojourner is used to describe a person who is just passing through. Synonyms in various translations are foreigner, exile, and alien. During the exodus from Egypt, the Israelites were sojourners in the wilderness Even though they remained in the wilderness for forty years, it was not their home They were merely there, yearning for the time when God would give them for a permanent home.
The application for our lives is obvious. Irrespective of where you come from, wherever you live or if you speak Doric or Gaelic, this world is not your real home. You do not belong here. You are merely passing through. Our citizenship is in heaven. That is our permanent place of residence.
O God, You who are always doing a new thing,
we confess that we sometimes close windows
against the fresh air of new ideas,
against the noise of other people’s worries,
against the winds of change.
God of every place and time,
we confess that we often draw the curtains
against people who are different,
against world news or community concerns.
Forgive us our insulation in our locked homes,
our shuttered churches,
the security systems on our hearts.
Open up our lives,
and let your Spirit blow through.
As you go from here,
keep the Lord always before you.
He is at your right hand: you shall not be moved.
So let your heart be glad – let your soul rejoice!
For God will show you the path of life.
In His presence is fullness of joy.