Our Prayer

Gracious God, hear our voices. Let your ear be attentive to our cries as we pray for all who may be affected by Coronavirus:

For all health caregivers – nurses, physicians, paramedics, technicians and therapists; out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For hospital and nursing home medical staff, assistants, and domestic staff who have close contact with patients and for the patients themselves; out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For all who travel for their daily work out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For all who handle money—bankers, supermarket staff, village shops, cashiers and treasures out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For restaurant workers, cooks, servers, chefs, and dishwashers; out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For teachers and professors, coaches and cafeteria workers at schools and universities and students everywhere; out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For the homeless huddling for warmth under bridges and in shop windows out of the depths, we cry to you. Protect them.

For the poor, the lonely, the vulnerable, migrants, and the isolated elderly who have no protectors; out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For all who have tested positive, all who are waiting for test results, and all who are quarantined; out of the depths, we cry out to you. Protect them.

For all who have lost loved ones due to or during this pandemic, comfort them with your loving presence.

Loving God, hasten the day when the virus will have run its course; quicken scientists to develop medications and vaccines; call out the best instincts of your people—love, compassion, and a sense of caring for every member of our community. We pray out of the depths to you, O God of hope.

Amen.                                                    

M Campbell 2020

Luke 6: 6-7

On another Sabbath, he entered the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. And the scribes and the Pharisees watched him, to see whether he would heal on the Sabbath, so that they might find a reason to accuse him. Luke 6:6-7

It was the Sabbath, a day to be kept holy.

The people had gathered faithfully, they would be lead in prayer, in reading, and the teaching from the Scriptures.

Here, was Jesus not simply teaching the Bible but living its truth and shining its light.

On this particular Sabbath day, there was a man with a deformed or withered hand.

Jesus would go on to heal the man’s hand, literally healing his body on a day intended for bodily rest and man’s good. The Lord had compassion on that man, had mercy on him and lovingly healed him.

This healing was beautiful, right, holy and just, as everything Jesus did in his lifetime was.

But in that same Synagogue there was also an ugliness, and that ugliness was displayed by the “believers”, the scribes and Pharisees.

Ugly religion doesn’t seek to love and heal those around them, ugly religion seeks to accuse others and show how they are wrong and inferior.

Follow in the Master’s footsteps today by being merciful and compassionate instead of trying to display your own glory through your ugly religion. Rather, display Jesus’ glory by walking as he walked.

M Campbell 2020

Sayings from the cross (2)

“This Day With Me”

 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”……But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly…..”Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.” Luke 23: 39-43


The second saying from the cross expresses the essential message of the death of Christ. By the cross Jesus as priest pronounces pardon, complete, free and immediate. The criminal’s confession, his plea to be “remembered”, his faith in Christ’s kingdom, is all the change of heart necessary for forgiveness, and that assures a welcome, and fellowship with Christ, in Paradise. A thief in life, he robs death of its sting and steals into heaven by the merest margin of time and the ample mercy of God.

The hymn writer puts it well when he writes:

The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in his day;

And there may I, as vile as he,

Wash all my sins away.

M Campbell 2020

Welcome to Online Church 25th October

A warm welcome to our online service and Sunday Club for children today.

Church Notices:

Thank you from Start Up Stirling: Start Up Stirling collected our harvest donations on Thursday, and shared this photo and message:

A very big thank you to Strathblane Parish Church for organising a harvest festival collection in the village for Start Up Stirling.
You donated an amazing total of 269 kg of essential supplies which will go to help families in need throughout the Stirling Council area.

Prison Fellowship Christmas Gifts: For some years as a Church we have been sending Christmas gifts to Prison Fellowship for children whose parents are unable to provide them with such luxuries. These gifts are always most gratefully received, and hopefully this year the congregation will be as generous as usual. Gifts for young people up to 15 years may be brought to the Church on Saturday 14th or Thursday 19th November between 10.30 am and 12 Noon. Items should be new and unwrapped. Prison Fellowship are also pleased to receive cash, gift cards and festive wrapping paper. If they wish, members of the wider community are welcome to join us in this worthwhile project. If you have any queries, you may phone Nancy Sharp at 01360 770149

Minister’s Leave: While Murdo is spending time with his family on leave this week and into next, Stuart Sharp,  minister of Killearn Parish Church will be overseeing urgent pastoral care, or you can contact Session Clerk Lynne James in the first instance. We are delighted to have Donald Peddie from our own congregation leading our online worship today and next Sunday.

Our Service:

Our hymn this morning is What a friend we have in Jesus. Our reading is from Luke 4: 14-21

Sunday Club:

Join Lynne today for the second part of Jonah’s story:

The Alpha and the Omega

“Look, he is coming with the clouds,” and “every eye will see him. . . .” Revelation 1:7 

In the book of Revelation, God wants us to embrace a world bigger than the one that ends at the end of our drive. We learn to see a bigger world because God speaks and reveals that he is “the Alpha and the Omega . . . who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” It is a humbling experience to stand in the presence of the Lord Almighty. Before this God, we learn to know our true selves. God is the Almighty, and by comparison we are small. Regardless of our strengths or weaknesses, we must learn to see ourselves standing before the Lord.

Yet when our eyes are opened to God’s being God Almighty, our world becomes a big place. We gain more than a glimpse of the present moment. We learn to live in the expectation of Jesus’ coming again to make all things new. Every moment is filled with longing for the day when God, in Christ, will bring the fullness of his salvation to every part of his creation.

Today we are invited to live in the presence of the Lord God Almighty. His promise to come again fills our day with the prayer “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in ­heaven” (Matthew 6:9-10).

Prayer

“Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,” that I may live in the joy of your awesome presence. Amen.

M Campbell 2020

Loves Us . . .

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen. Revelation 1:5-6

Sometimes relationships grow stale. We go through the motions of being a friend, a family member, or a spouse, but something is missing. What gets lost is love. Without love pulsating through them, relationships grow cold. This is why love is to the fore in the letter of Revelation to all of Jesus’ family members, his church.

Revelation begins by recognising and rejoicing in the truth that God loves us. In fact, this theme runs like a common thread through every book of the Bible.

God’s love was well known to his people. So why would this letter state the obvious? Because the people and the churches they were part of, who were the first to receive the letter of Revelation, were facing tough times. Living by faith in Jesus, they met with public persecution and opposition and this led to the temptation to let their faith cool and grow lukewarm.

You may be facing a tough day today too. As we walk through dark valleys in life, we especially need the assurance that God loves us.

Let this good news enter your heart. Be sure to take it with you to the tougher places in your life, and be assured that nothing in all of creation “will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).

Prayer

Thank you, Lord, that in your love for us, you hold on to us faithfully and will never let go. Amen.

M Campbell 2020

A Thorn.


‘I was given a thorn in my flesh. ’ 2 Corinthians 12:7 NLT

Bible scholars disagree as to what Paul’s ‘thorn’ in the flesh was. Something that caused him emotional distress or physical discomfort. It may have been poor eyesight, a speech impediment or some emotional challenge. Why doesn’t the Bible tell us? Well, if his problem was poor eyesight, then we would say, ‘That doesn’t help me because I have 20/20 vision.’ If it was a speech impediment, those with the gift of communication wouldn’t find comfort in his words. If it was an emotional challenge, those with a strong mind would think they’re exempt. The reason the Bible doesn’t tell us may be this: no matter what your particular struggle or affliction is, the same God who gave Paul victory over his thorn will give you victory too.

Is there a person in your life you would describe as ‘a thorn in your side’? Is there ‘thorny’ situation at work you face day after day? You may have a ‘thorny’ relationship with someone that requires extra grace, love, and prayer. That’s why Peter writes, ‘Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord.’ (2 Peter 3:18) Each of our thorns is different because God customises them to our need. Why? So that we will ‘grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord.’ God is more interested in our character than he is in our comfort, so when we pray for lighter burdens, he gives us stronger backs. The kindness of God is that he is ready to fill you with the love and grace to deal with the thorn you have today.

The songwriter said: ‘He giveth more grace when the burdens grow greater, He giveth more strength when the labours increase; To added affliction He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials, His multiplied peace.’

M Campbell 2020

Prayer During Coronavirus

God of all hope we call on you today.
We pray for those who are living in fear:
Fear of illness, fear for loved ones, fear of other’s reactions to them

Fear of hunger, fear concerning their employment  
May your Spirit give us a sense of calmness and peace.

We pray for your church in this time of uncertainty.
For those people who are worried about attending worship.
For those needing to make decisions in order to care for others

For those who need to make difficult decisions about opening church buildings
For those who will feel more isolated by not being able to attend.
Grant us your wisdom.

Holy God, we remember that you have promised that
Nothing will separate us from your love – demonstrated to us in Jesus Christ.
Help us turn our eyes, hearts and minds to you.

Amen

M Campbell 2020

Silence Broken

 I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet. . . .Revelation 1:10

I imagine that the silence was the most painful part of John’s exile on the island of Patmos. John had been used to the ­noises of busy cities like Ephesus, Sardis, and Philadelphia. These were thriving communities filled with endless sights and sounds. More than anything else, John would have missed hearing the prayers of fellow believers and the praises of the people raised to the Lord in worship on Sundays and in their everyday working life. Patmos was as silent as death.

It was silent until that Sunday, that Lord’s Day, when John heard a voice as loud as a trumpet blast. John later learned that the voice came from none other than the Lord. Jesus broke into Patmos’s silence and commanded John to write a record of what he was about to see. Then later John would send it to the ­seven church communities he had worked with.

That Sunday, Jesus broke heaven’s silence. From that day forward God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit revealed God’s big salvation story in greater detail than any other book in history has or ever will. Search Hebrew Scriptures, Buddhist scriptures or science papers written by Nobel Prize winners, none of them can break the silence that surrounds the mystery of where the world is heading and how it ends and who holds it together like this book can. The book of Revelation is not a gift to satisfy our curiosity. It is God’s way of helping us come to faith in him, deepen our faith, and give us staying power even in these tough times. The silence is broken, Jesus declares, everything from begging to end -alpha to omega is mine -trust me and fear not. The world, beginning and end is in his hand.

Prayer

Our Father in heaven, thank you for revealing your great salvation of crea­tion story. Lord Jesus, send your Holy Spirit into my heart so that your story becomes my life’s story too. Amen.

M Campbell 2020

Stuck on Patmos

 I, John . . . was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 1:9

Patmos was no Apostles holiday retreat, as those of you who have been will know –it was a barren sun bleached rock. It was used by the Roman authorities as a dead-end place of isolation and shame. Offending citizens were exiled to the island of Patmos to learn a lesson: Rome declared that there was no Lord but Caesar. As a leader of the Christian community, John had taught people that Jesus Christ is Lord—which he is. So Rome removed John from contact with Christians and churches because the word he preached directly challenged the claim that Caesar is Lord.

This must have created a great hardship for John and for many communities of believers during that time. John would have experienced loneliness and isolation. The churches would have missed his preaching, teaching, and time spent with them. Sounds a bit familiar- loneliness- isolation- missing out on time spent together around God’s word.

Rome thought it could disrupt the life and mission of the church. But Patmos was not so isolated as Rome wanted it to be. God can go anywhere, so it was no problem for the Spirit of God to visit John in this isolated, “god-forsaken” place and turn it into a stage revealing the power and majesty of the true Lord and Saviour. On Patmos, John received an awe-inspiring vision of Jesus, who revealed to him some of the astonishing greatness of God’s kingdom. God revealed to John more of heaven in that “god-forsaken” place that he revealed to any man before or since.

May God’s Patmos-trans­form­ing story give us courage, especially when we feel -exiled – isolated or forgotten!

Prayer

Almighty Lord of all lords and King of all kings, “yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever.” Amen.

M Campbell 2020