© St Ninians Episcopal Church, Glasgow which is a charity registered under no.SC010966
Rector writes The weekend I wrote this missive has been a weekend of memories – or, to be more precise, the recall of memories. On Sunday morning, we gathered at St Margaret’s for our annual South Regional Council joint Eucharist. It was, as ever, a splendid occasion underlining the deep links that exist between the clergy and people of the respective churches. Sitting in my stall, the memories flooded back of my time as an NSM at St Margaret’s. It was interesting to observe that in some ways nothing has changed but, yet, all had changed. We have created something special in our joint services. This, at best, should be the setting for creating our own bank of memories to sustain us into the future. In the afternoon of the Sunday, I joined my cousins at my aunt’s house as we looked at her belongings following her recent death My cousins were anxious that I take some mementos as keepsakes as I had been particularly close to my aunt and uncle. On the face of it, then, a melancholy event but not so, for in the discovering of items in her house, the memories and the stories came flooding back. For instance, we found an old photo album which contained photos of my childhood – photos of my siblings, my parents and grandparents; photos I had never seen nor even knew existed. I returned to the rectory with several photos and other keepsakes - a mixture of emotions as yet another set of family memories flooded my grey cells. To complete my Sunday, I watched Woody Allen’s semi-autobiographical film Radio Days. A splendid and charming film in which the narrator uses listening to the radio as a boy in the New York of the 1930s and 1940s as the means to recall the significant events of his childhood and what happened to his extended family. The Jewish people as our spiritual ancestors were and are a people of recalled memory and by extension, as Christians, so are we. There are many examples of the Jewish people being asked to “remember” some or other event displaying God’s graciousness or glory. To give but one example, in the book of Exodus, at chapter 13, Moses tells the tribes: “When in the future your child asks you, ‘What does this mean?’ you shall answer, ‘By strength of hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, from the house of slavery.’” And so, to this day, at every Passover ceremony a child is given the task of asking the vital “why?” questions and in turn the eldest male supplies the answers and thus re-creates through re-lived memory the deliverance of God’s people. We learn and grow by meditating upon the experience of the past – of those memories, good and bad, that make us and shape us into the people God would have us be. By the time you read the next edition of the magazine, the season of Advent will have commenced. I think this Advent (quite separately from the work tackled in the Thursday Advent course by those who attend) would be a good opportunity to look back at events in order to better understand the coming of Christ. Advent supremely exists to mark the climax of the imminent fulfilment of the Old Testament prophecies on God’s complete participation in God’s creation through the incarnation. The Rector