As I write these words we have inched into Spring, but someone forgot to tell the weather. I found myself in England when blizzard conditions blanketed Stirlingshire. Thankfully, the work of so many ensured one road to Scotland was opened by the time we were heading home. As we drove across the north of England past the snowdrifts, I was reminded of my childhood experiences of blizzards – snowdrifts that bury cars, winds that endanger lives of people and beasts, and people risking their own lives to help others caught in dangerous situations.
As a weather-worn South Dakotan, every time snowstorms hit the UK I prepare, but forget that the storms over here wouldn’t bring my hometown to a standstill, but the community spirit is the same. We check in on neighbours and offer help where we can – except maybe when stockpiling milk. Challenging situations define us for good or for ill, remind us of our deepest values of interdependence and community, and show us where our weaknesses lie.
As followers of Jesus in the weeks before Easter, we recall Jesus’ journey into the wilderness – the harsh reality and fragility of life in the desert cut off from community. I believe that Jesus’ life and teachings help us to look at our 21st century life in Scotland and consider what matters most. In John’s gospel, Jesus says, ‘I came that [humanity] may have life and have it abundantly’ (John 10:10). We remember how God came to show us life in all its fullness, even when times are difficult and challenging, even when faced with death and destruction. Christians remember the empty tomb at Easter and cry out that ‘LOVE WINS! Death is not the end.’
In every challenge we encounter, whether it is a blizzard, a job loss, disease, the death of a loved one, anxiety, or loneliness, I believe we have a choice to let it define us or to live abundantly in the face of death, to love instead of hate, to hope over despair, and to be community rather than isolate. As a follower of Jesus, I believe Jesus shows us in his life, death and resurrection how powerful these choices can be. I know for some they need others to help them to see this possibility. May we choose to live and help others as well. As we embrace new life in its season, I pray that you may have abundant life in spite the challenges you may face. – Ellen
Kippen Church meets on Sunday mornings at 11.15 am. All Welcome!
Holy Communion will be celebrated on Sunday 13th May at 11.15 am.
Messy Church ‘Big Birthday Party’ is on Sunday 20th May at Gartmore Village Hall from 3-5 pm.
Rev. Ellen Larson Davidson, Minister, Kippen linked with Norrieston Parishes – Church of Scotland. Registered Charities: (Kippen) SC004286 & (Norrieston) SC028719