Dear Friends

I, like so many of you, was looking forward to being present at William’s ordination and induction service in Port Glasgow New Parish Church on Wednesday evening. The service did take place with a few people from Presbytery, a few people from the congregation and William’s closest family. I know that some of you were able to share in the service by watching via facebook.  I was glad that the service was able to take place and it was the right way to do it at this time, but watching along I cried and Wednesday being the day that school closures were announced, I continued to weep for all the things , big and small, in the lives of our family and friends, our congregation and community, our nation and world that are not happening the way we would have wanted them to happen, all the normal and special things of life that in some ways are being lost. And I continued to weep for all the things that are happening that we would never have imagined happening a few months or even days ago. We do indeed , find ourselves in a strange land. We wonder, when our worship gatherings are cancelled, how do we sing the Lord’s song ? I am sure that we will find a way of being the church, the people God calls us to be , but in these days we can also weep and cry out to God. The tradition of lament is expressed over and over again in the bible. In exile, God’s people sat down and wept. They cried out to the God of their ancestors to show them how to be God’s people in a foreign land.

Psalm 137:1 – 4

By the rivers of Babylon we sat down;

There we wept when we remembered Zion….

How can we sing a song to the Lord in a foreign land ?

Many of us today and at different points in the days to come, may need to sit down and weep. May we do so turning to, trusting in the God who catches tears and keeps lost things…. then may we find new ways of singing the Lord’s song in a strange land.

Please join me here on facebook in days to come and especially on Sun 22nd March at 7p.m. to join in a national time of prayer. Please keep in touch with family, friends and neighbour by phone . May the grace of God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with you. Amen