Revd Canon Dr Anne Tomlinson, Principal and Tutor in Theology, Ministry and Mission, was invited to be the preacher to our recent Diamond Anniversary service. Anne knows the congregation well as she used to be a member of the congregation.
Over on the SEI website Anne has posted a reflection based around her sermon on the day, the link is below.
Holy God of eternal blessing, bless
Once more, we pray. Shower your
Love and your peace, so all may know
Your Name. Sixty sparkling years
Now past, since praises first rang
Abroad. When your faithful people
Met to pray in infant Cumbernauld.
Endless, bless them, Lord.
Today, 22nd September 2022 saw the celebration of 60 years since the first service was held in Holy Name, Cumbernauld. We were joined by friends old and new to sing and laugh and prayer and eat, in love and thanksgiving. It was a blessed and happy day and the sermon by Revd Canon Anne Tomlinson was perfect (we hope to post it here later).
Our worship begins at 10am and we invite you to join us for worship and fellowship in the hall afterward. Please feel free to come to either/or/both.
For the second week in a row our Gospel reading contains warnings from Jesus about time and how we perceive it. Indeed the whole Bible contains such warnings. Our understanding and construct in time, might suit us for living amongst others and not causing confusion as to when things are happening, however for God time is very different. Often, we can read, of people dismissing God because they think something or other isn’t of God’s time. Or because something is inconvenient for them it can’t be God. Or pushing the time for God aside because something else has come along.
“I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, ‘It is going to rain’; and so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?”
‘Where have you been?’ Is a cry uttered by many a distraught parent when the time has passed for a child to return home. I sometimes wonder if God cries it out too. The world is in a mess which just seems to be growing in its size and complexity week upon week. Yet we still muddle through, not wanting to upset people, or cause a stir, or shake some sense into certain individuals. Yet we ignore things at our peril, we are in grave danger of time running out as we keep putting things off. Only a fool now doesn’t see there is an ecological disaster round the corner, yet as we worry about rising fuel cost we seem more concerned with how to pay the bills than how to reduce our consumption. As saying goes, you have to break an egg to make an omelette. Maybe we need to get on with the breaking so we also then have time to mend, before all the sands have run out.
Our worship on Sunday begins at 10.30am and will be followed by fellowship in the hall, we invite you to join us if you can.
One of the readings on Sunday is from the letter to the Hebrews.
Faith shows the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see. Through their faith, the people in days of old earned a good reputation. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen. It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith—for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God. It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed[a] that God would keep his promise. And so a whole nation came from this one man who was as good as dead—a nation with so many people that, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore, there is no way to count them. All these people died still believing what God had promised them. They did not receive what was promised, but they saw it all from a distance and welcomed it. They agreed that they were foreigners and nomads here on earth. Obviously people who say such things are looking forward to a country they can call their own. If they had longed for the country they came from, they could have gone back. But they were looking for a better place, a heavenly homeland. That is why God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16
Every body has some type of faith, people have faith in many different things, when we switch on a light switch we have faith that we will have light, and if we don’t we have faith that a new bulb to replace the old one will produce the light. We have faith when driving through a green traffic light that someone won’t be ignoring the red one in the other direction, and if you have seen the way some other people drive then that is faith. We have faith that when we turn on the tap water will come out, everyone places his or her faith in something or someone. The humanist put his faith in himself, a pious person in his or her own good works. None of these can save, because in each case the object of faith is wrong. Our faith is only as good as the object in which we place our faith. True faith is simple obedience to and believing God’s word in spite of circumstances or consequences. Faith is described in a two-fold way. It is the “substance of things hoped for,” and “the evidence of things not seen.”
We can’t see faith, we can’t touch it, or smell it, or taste it, but we can know it through the actions of others and others can know it through our actions. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness (which is different to faith), gentleness, self control.
If you wish to join with those going to Millport please meet at St Columba’s Largs at 10am. We will then have an opportunity to walk the labyrinth before crossing over on the 10 minute ferry ride to Cumbrae. For those not taking a car over with them the bus meets the ferry and will take you into Millport itself.
Those who wish can join Kirstin on the beach for some GodArt. Or you might wish to explore many of the delights Millport and the Isle, has to offer, by foot, or pedal power. Bikes can be hired on the front. From the Cathedral to the distillery, the museums to the beach there is something for everyone.
This Sunday our psalm will be 107. A psalm of rejoicing, below is a version by Poor Bishop Hooper.
Giving thanks is a primary part of our faith. We have much to be thankful for and in the recognition of that, and in giving thanks we become a people more content and more at peace.
Our Gospel reading on Sunday, below, includes the parable of the rich fool. a young man who was far from content or at peace, yet was far from poverty. As a youngest son, he might never own his father’s farm, but neither would he ever be destitute. However rather than giving thanks for all he has, he grumbles about what he hasn’t. Discontent rules his life and his actions, what is more it impacts on those around him.
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Friend, who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you. And he said to them, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.”
So, wherever you are reading this from, be it within Cumbernauld or further afield why not take a moment to give thanks today. And, if you are close enough, please come along on Sunday at 10am and help us in our rejoicing.
Our service of Sung Eucharist begins at 10am and is followed by fellowship in the hall.
In our Gospel on Sunday, Luke 11:1-13, Jesus’ disciples ask him to teach them how to pray. This might seem a strange request as of course the disciples knew how to pray. They were Jews and prayer formed their days. However they had seen that with Jesus prayer was something special. It was more than duty it was about a relationship with God.
The disciples knew how to pray, but they wanted to know how to pray in the way that Jesus did. To answer Jesus taught them what we know as the Lord’s Prayer, followed by some tips.
Jesus was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples."
He said to them, "When you pray, say:
Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.
Give us each day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us. And do not bring us to the time of trial."
And he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; for a friend of mine has arrived, and I have nothing to set before him.' And he answers from within, 'Do not bother me; the door has already been locked, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.' I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, at least because of his persistence he will get up and give him whatever he needs. "So I say to you, Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"
The Lord’s Prayer is in one sense a contract. Give praise to God and you will be fed. Forgive others and you will be forgiven. Ending with the plea that trails and tribulations will be far from us. It is a simple prayer that covers all we require. There is no need for lengthy prayers with lots of words and explanation to God. God already knows those things we need and those we desire before we ask. God also knows the difference between the two. Sometimes prayers are answered in a way we might not have hoped or expected. Sometimes our desires are really a scorpion and God, in wisdom and love, will answer with an egg.
Our worship on Sunday begins at 10am and is followed by fellowship in the hall, you are invited to join us.
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
In our Gospel reading on Sunday Jesus goes to the home of the sisters Mary and Martha. While one sits and listens at Jesus’ feet the other one fusses around being busy.
The painting below is ‘Christ with Martha and Mary’ by Mikhail Nesterov painted in 1911. This painting gives a different approach to what is a familiar Gospel to many, Mary and Jesus are outside not inside the house and Martha, well. While Mary is sitting listening with a bottle in her hand, it would appear that Martha is bringing our a tray of food. Does this painting capture the scene after Jesus spoke. Is the artist showing how Martha can still be true to her personality by bringing out some food, while she also comes and joins them? Maybe, we might never know, however it does give us some food for thought. We know the scene so well, but what happened next? What did Mary do? What did Martha do? And of course most importantly, What did Jesus do?
The Said Eucharist this Thursday has been cancelled instead you are invited along to the service at St Paul and St John the Evangelist, Springwells Ave, Airdrie for a Said Eucharist at 11am on Wednesday 13th July.