One to One

Passchendaele - a name to conjure up visions of slaughter on an unimaginable scale. A recent television programme featured individual tributes to the dead of the First World War. Then, when words failed, strains of solemn music, followed by a period of silence. The climax was a short memorial service whose themes were reconciliation and the very real consolation that belief in the after-life offers. Once more, in the depths of despair, people were turning to God.

The work of Mary Slessor has been fittingly honoured. She was born in Dundee in the 19th century, as you probably know, and spent her life working selflessly among the natives of Calabar in Nigeria.

Her name has been added to the Hall of Heroes in the Wallace Monument in Stirling, and rightly so. A visit to the shrine is surely a ‘must’ the next time you are up that way.

On the subject of the recent General Assembly I have chosen to be very brief - not because I think it is unimportant. Far from it. It’s just because there is a lack of space in an article as short as this. But one thing stands out for me, and that is a remark from one of the speakers at the conference who said “We are the hands and ears of Christ today”. It is a call to mission which we must all answer, I suggest.

My usual crop of quotations is meant to keep you on your toes, if you’ll pardon the expression:

“The BB has such a big part to play in helping young people to navigate through life.”

“Communities of faith will survive because of a profound centuries-old longing for that other life we call heaven.”

“If you are looking for your cornerstone in life you will find it among the stones the mason has cast aside. It is there, among the rejected side of humanity, you will find your cornerstone.”

“Love, wisdom and patience will overcome all that is not of God.” (Quaker text)

This month’s picture in my charity calendar shows a young person offering companionship and support to one of the older generation, a service to society no less important than the practical help supplied by the same charity to victims of flood and earthquake, I hope you will agree.

I should like to finish with a meditation taken from a current copy of ‘Life and Work’.

“Today new life is born in me.
Hidden within my deathless dark,
in the silence of my soul,
the Sacred is reborn,
the Spirit of the Risen Christ
rises again.
May I know the Spirit of Jesus within me,
hear His voice call me by name,
touch his crucified feet,
receive from His hands bread broken,
the sacrament of forgiveness.”

Thank you.

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