Sunday, March 14, 2021



Photos courtesy of Unsplash



A year ago, this weekend was the last time we had our normal services in the Gospel Hall – it’s maybe an unhappy anniversary!  Most anniversaries celebrate life’s happy events, including Mothers’ Day just now. But it’s not all joy to look back to the beginning of a year that has been so difficult for so many people.

From August to December after the first lockdown, we enjoyed a bit of respite, but the past two months have been more difficult again. Although we won’t celebrate looking back, we can hope this might be the beginning of better days ahead.


At this stage, we are encouraged to balance hope with caution –

·       hope that the number of Covid infections will continue to fall, but caution because the numbers are still very high;

·       hope because the number of vaccinations continues to rise, but caution because the virus has the nasty ability to change;

·       hope that restrictions will be relaxed for all the kinds of things we have enjoyed doing, but caution because transmission of the virus is so easy;

·       hope that everyone will get the message about caution but caution because we know people can ignore it and be selfish.


The Bible has this advice about selfishness, for it’s something we all have to guard against: “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Philippians 2.4). Notice the word “also”. It’s not that we are to neglect our own affairs, but we haven’t to become so absorbed in these that we have no room or time for others. There are examples in the Bible of people who got the balance right and others who got it badly wrong. Can you think of some of each type? Why not email me some answers! It would be lovely to hear from you!


The supreme example of living unselfishly for others (and also dying for others) is, of course, our Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 2.5-8 describes how He who was so great and glorious in heaven came to earth to die on a cross for you and me. Another verse reminds us that “though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich (2 Corinthians 8.9). The riches, of course, are spiritual ones, not material ones. Salvation from sin and its consequences is more important than prosperity and luxury.


Zacchaeus found this one day - read about him in Luke 19.1-10. Did you ever sing this one, maybe in Sunday School?


A certain man of whom we read,

Who lived in days of old,

Though he was rich, he felt his need

Of something more than gold.

Oh yes, my friend, there’s something more,

There’s something more than gold!

To know your sins are all forgiven.

Is better far than gold!


This springtime anniversary weekend also brings the cheer of lengthening daylight hours, flowers coming into bloom, a bit of warmth in the air. We are reminded of God’s sure promise recorded away back in Genesis 8.22, and we realise that what the old German hymn says is so true –


All good gifts around us

Are sent from heaven above;

Then thank the Lord,

Oh, thank the Lord,

For all His love.


[Matthias Claudius, 1740-1815]


Written and used by permission of Bert Cargill of the Gospel Hall, St Monans



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