We know not the hour nor the day

There’s a constant refrain in the news media at the moment, that we live in a period of unprecedented uncertainty. I can’t help but feel however that there’s an element of hyperbole about this. Yes there is uncertainty just now, but perhaps you’d like to tell me when there wasn’t. Quite a few of you lived through WWII and the one thing I think I can be sure of, is that it wasn’t a period of certainty, nor was the period of high inflation in the 70s, economic turbulence of the 80s, the effect of tensions in the Middle East on oil prices in the 90s, the sub-prime crisis which led the world into recession in this century, or the populist political shift which has put Donald Trump and Boris Johnson into positions of high office.

In a résumé of a book called “Certainty to Uncertainty: The Story of Science and Ideas in the Twentieth Century”, by physicist F. David Peat, I read:

Early in the 20th century we were giddy and confident in the knowledge that rational thinking would solve many of our ills. Science would provide an abundance of food and energy. Peace and prosperity were within reach. No accomplishment remained beyond the grasp of enlightened thought. Today, 100 years later, we face environmental deterioration, emerging infections, bioterrorism, and doubts about our earth’s ability to sustain us. We did not anticipate this transition from cocky certainty to disquieting uncertainty. Our views and our Western emphasis on science and progress may have led us to this state. Early theorists believed that in science lay the promise of certainty. Built on a foundation of fact and constructed with objective and trustworthy tools, science produced knowledge. But science has also shown us that this knowledge will always be fundamentally incomplete and that a true understanding of the world is ultimately beyond our grasp.”.

What is not beyond our grasp is that there is a power beyond us that we call God.
The final Parable of the Kingdom in Matthew (Matthew 13:47-53), points to the end of time. There’ll come a time when those who are judged to belong to the Kingdom and those who don’t will be separated from each other. But that’s something that none of us can or should attempt in relation to one another, as the earlier Parable of the Weeds indicates (Matthew 13:24-43).

So when will that end be? That, of course, we can’t know – fortunately! Quite a lot of Jesus’ teaching emphasises this point, but the one thing we do know is that our own end will come, whether we live to be 100 or have a much shorter life. And when it happens, it’ll be clear to God, if not to the rest of us, whether we’re fit for the Kingdom or another place, whether we’re for or against the will of God.

How can we make sure we’re right with God? By making sure that we say our prayers and get to Church regularly? I wouldn’t like to bet on it! Since we don’t know the hour or the day, the best way is to start living the Kingdom today and every day, to live, with Christ’s help, in the way that He showed us in His life and teaching. If we do that, we can trust in God, the uncertainty of the future will take care of itself and there’ll be no need to worry. That doesn’t mean we can duck all responsibility, caring for the planet and loving our neighbour are a big part of it.

Blessings
James

Another Night to Remember

Another WOW of a concert from our friends the KYIV Classical Accordion Duo from the Ukraine.  A sizeable audience heard pieces by: Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, Greig, Saint-Saëns, Borodin, Piazzolla and Anderson in a concert entitled “Round the World in 80 Minutes”.

The collection for the HIPPOKRAT Society of Mothers of Disabled Children who have suffered as a result of the explosion in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Energy Plant, raised just over £592, with a further £90 in CD sales.

A wonderful night (as always) and a goodly number of people who had not heard Oleksii and Igor before, were introduced to their incredible musicianship in making their instruments sound like anything from a small squeezebox to a large church organ, to a string quartet or even a full orchestra.

Thanks boys and all who gave so generously.

Praise my Soul

This week is Golspie Gala Week.  It started on Sunday, when there was a Songs of Praise in the Marque.  The proceedings were attended by the Gala Queen Faith Francis, a nursing student, and her two attendants Mia Ratter and Mellisa Kay and led by our own Rev Simon Scott who is also headteacher of Golspie Primary School.

The congregation were in splendid voice as we sang hymns old and new.  Simon gave us a little bit of the story surrounding each one, so we came away knowing more about them than we did when we arrived.  A wonderful uplifting act of ecumenical worship to start what is proving to be a glorious week.

 

 

Worship through Creativity

Worship through Creativity

at

The Crask Inn

Come and enjoy a day’s retreat exploring how to pray with God through Creative Expression – led by:

Rev Ellie Charman and Rev Simon Scott

Curiosity is all that’s needed.  No prior artistic skills are required; just enthusiasm and a willingness to explore more of who you are in God.

Saturday 24th August 2019

10.30am – 3.30pm

£20 (Lunch Included)

The Boys are Back in Town

Our friends from the Ukraine, the Kyiv Classic Accordion Duo are making their annual visit (their twelfth) to play in St Finnbarr’s on 25th July 2019. The concert starts at 7:30pm and they will be playing music by: Vivaldi, Mozart, Bach, Greig, Saint-Saëns, Borodin, Piazzolla and Anderson.  If you’ve not heard them before, here’s a sample: Dance of the Furies by Gluck.

Be sure to put the date in your diaries so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to hear these two professional musicians conjure up a whole orchestra with just two accordions!! As entry is free but there is a retiring collection and there will be CDs available to purchase. All proceeds, as always will go to the charity Hippokrat, which supports survivors of the Chenobyl Nuclear Disaster.

About the Kyiv Classical Accordion Duo:
In 2006 Igor and Oleksii finished studying in the National Music Academy of Ukraine in Kiev. However they had begun performing professionally in 2002. Oleksii now plays in the Orchestra of the National Radio of Ukraine; Igor works in the National Philharmonic of Ukraine. They decided to give the name Kyiv Duo Classic to the duo, however this doesn’t mean that Igor and Oleksiy perform only classical music; programmes of their concerts include music of Bach, Grieg, Vivaldi, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov as well as traditional Ukrainian and Russian music. Two contemporary button accordions make it possible to produce a sound like a small squeezebox and at the same time, like a big church organ, a string quartet and even an orchestra.

About their charity – HIPPOKRAT:
One of the main purposes of the Kyiv Classic Accordion Duo 2009 UK tour was to raise money for the HIPPOKRAT Society of Mothers of Disabled Children who suffered as a result of the explosion in 1986 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Energy Plant. This has remained the focus of fund-raising on each subsequent tour, as the need continues. The Chernigiv region suffered most from the radiation fall out and since 1986 a large number of children have been born with mental and physical problems. Many of these children are now young adults and in need of support that the state is unable to provide.

As Oleksiy explains:

There are at least 1000 invalid children in Chernigiv which has a total population of around 320,000 and unfortunately, these children get no real support from the state. The mother of a disabled child usually needs to be with the child all the time, so she cannot earn money. That is why the Society of Mothers of Disabled Children, HIPPOKRAT, was founded more than 15 years ago”.

The task of HIPPOKRAT is to provide families with invalid children with food, medicine and money. HIPPOKRAT also organises different events and parties with presents for children. It is not a commercial organisation. It is run by 10 women led by Valentina Frol. They do not receive any money for their job and all of them have disabled children”.