On 23 September some of our congregation journeyed to Stirling for our congregational away day. It was an interesting time of getting of know one another a bit better in a different setting. I was particularly keen to be able to familiarise myself with the two main stops of our visit – the large medieval church of the Holy Rude and the ancient Stirling Castle.
The guided tours at both venues shed much light on each place; events in history that stretched back through what were often turbulent times in our nation’s past – times of conflict and political intrigue. These were interesting to hear and to reflect on, but what also struck me on the day was the connectedness of the many thousands of individual human lives throughout the generations that had shared in the story of these buildings. It became evident to me that these stories could not simply be consigned to the past, but rather were personally relevant to some in our group that day – those with a connection to the church and the castle.
This month of November is a bit like that congregational away day. It is a time that invites us to reflect on all the saints and faithful departed of old and to celebrate the ways in which God lived and worked through them. This exercise leads us on to see more clearly than ever the truth that God, by his holy and life-giving Spirit, continues to seek to influence the world through our own daily life and witness.
May we know ourselves to be encouraged by the example and aided by the prayers of all the saints now and always.
Yours in the faith,