Friday saw an end to the five-mile restriction; in celebration we set off to Loch Lomond on Saturday to walk along its banks and breath in the hill air. It was magical! The dogs were very excited to be back: especially Ted who enjoyed several sorties into the loch to retrieve his stick. The hills were looking suitably dramatic in the misty rain and the midges were also dramatic in their numbers and lack of ability to social-distance!
On Wednesday Bishop Kevin officially became our new diocesan bishop. It is certainly not the easiest time to start a new job! On behalf of us all I have sent him good wishes and assured him of our prayers. The regional council looks forward to meeting him via Zoom later in the month.
Our readings today are again a curious mix of themes and messages. Perhaps, however, the overriding theme is that of God’s salvation.
In the Old Testament the lesson portrays a clear prophetic message. In a great vision of hope the prophet Zechariah sees the messianic king, the descendent of David, entering the city of Jerusalem in triumph, bringing salvation with him. Interestingly he does not enter on a war horse but with humility. He will be seated on a donkey just as David and his sons were content to sit on mules. This great passage foretells a triumphant entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem: a time when the Lord will come and save his people.
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
triumphant and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
In the epistle of Saint Paul to the Romans we are confronted with a rather complex chapter about sin. Paul talks of the power of sin and our utter inability as humans to break free from its stranglehold. He claims even if people wanted to break free from sin, they would find that their good intentions were frustrated by it. It seems that nothing can be done about this. However, Paul declares that we have not been left on our own; for God will save us! Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ the power of sin has been broken.
“Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it……….What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:20-25I
In the gospel Jesus offers us words of comfort and assurance using the analogy of an ox bearing a heavy harness in the form of a yoke around its neck. We all bear our own burdens of various descriptions. Jesus frees us from these burdens by offering us rest, love, healing and peace with God.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
Whenever I read this passage now, I think of the piece the Milngavie choir sang at our Christmas concert from Handel’s Messiah! “His yoke is easy and his burden is light”
I look forward to our Coffee Zoom at 11.45 and I will be sending a separate invitation by e-mail just like last week.
Tomorrow the Eucharist will be available at 11am online. http://www.scotland.anglican.org/broadcast-sunday-worship. Alternatively, you can access it by going straight onto the Scottish Episcopal Church website.
I will look forward to joining you all again via YouTube on Thursday for our morning Eucharist
My love and prayers to you all as always