Weekly Update - 5th February
Dear sisters and brothers
I heard that parents who are having to help their children with home schooling are to teach them a new way of remembering the days of the week. It goes: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Anyday…. Of course I’m joking, but for many of us that is how it feels. The days all seem to be melting into each other with little to distinguish one from the next. I know that for some their days are full with too much to do (those parents for example) while others view the morning with a sense of dread as the day stretches out before them. Psalm 90:4 says of God, A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by. For some of us we are cramming “a thousand years” into one day; and for others each day seems to go on for ever.
Whichever category you find yourself in (or you may have a different experience all together) the truth is that these are far from ordinary days and we are all feeling the strain of them. One of my purposes in writing these letters is simply to let you know that in these difficult days you have not been forgotten: neither by God nor by your sisters and brothers. I also want to try and bring you some comfort and help. The Psalms often try to help us put things into perspective. They teach us to understand that we are part of the great sweep of God’s purposes that last for all eternity (see the verse above) and so these things that we experience will pass and be gathered together into God’s goodness. They also teach us how precious each day is – even those which seem to have nothing of value in them: they too are a gift from God. The trouble is that when we are in the midst of the difficult days it is so very hard to see things in the right perspective – or even to hear that we should! And so the Psalms invite us to slow down and know the presence of God so that the Spirit of God might minister to us.
One of the ways to do that is to find a rhythm to the day based around prayer. Start the day with a simple prayer of thanks giving and inviting God to lead you through the day; find time in the middle of the day to pause and listen to God’s word; at the end of the day take a little time to give thanks once again and to lift before God the situations and people who are on your mind. At some point in each day you might want to try using the simple prayer exercise that I have attached. It is called a Breath Prayer and it helps us to slow down physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I hope that you will find it helpful.
This week we begin our Alpha Course and it is not too late to sign up, either for the online version or to have the printed version sent to you. If you do have access to a computer, Sharron Forsythe has started a series of get togethers on a Friday afternoon to look at and be inspired by the women in the Bible. Sharron is also heading up the Prayers for Healing session on Saturday 13th when a team in the church will be specifically praying for healing. If you would like the team to be praying for you, please contact Sharron on 07519 708215. And if I can be of any help to you at all, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
May you know God’s peace and presence each and every day.
Rev. Ian Aitken
52 Ashgrove Road West
Tel. 01224 686929
Aberdeen: Stockethill Church of Scotland
Scottish Charity Number - SC030587