Chicken Satay’s my Chinese choice, but Sweet and Sour is also very acceptable. However, the speed with which ‘sweet’ can change to ‘sour’ in life is not as palatable. We all have to deal with the ups, downs, swings, roundabouts & daily plodding of life. I adore the cherry blossom presently adorning lines of trees in Irvine, offering magical moments of glorious white and pink petals blown everywhere. Alas, such sweet blossom is fleeting, here today and gone tomorrow. Perhaps ‘believers’ have an advantage here over atheists & agnostics, such beautiful moments further golden lined, deepened, broadened and heightened by spirit praise of The Designer and Sustainer of All. Many are drawn in awe and wonder to beauty spots like Irvine’s beach to see sun setting over Arran. What faith in an intimate, invisible ‘Parent-God’ gives is a sixth sense vent for wonder, praise and devotion, drawn beyond the visible and touchable to commune with and marvel at a mysterious and invisible Maker.
It’s good to see ventures like ‘Grasping The Nettle’ (fostering debate around faith and science) and ‘Take a Pew’ (encouraging Scotland’s public to consider the relevance and role of Christian Faith in 21st century Scotia. Unusual backdrops like The Kelpies, Cairngorms, Glasgow Green and Glencoe set the scene for two pews and discussions with local and national figures.
In the first video, hosted by Glasgow minister Rev Neil Glover, STV Anchorman and agnostic John MacKay joins Church of Scotland youth moderator Hannah Goodlad and Foodbank man Alastair Blackstock to talk about the place of the Kirk in modern Scotland. Says MacKay, “I think the challenge for the church is pretty much exemplified by the Kelpies here. They are very modern though they are based on something very traditional, and the church has to be able to do that too… But the language being used has been the same since I was a kid and I don’t think it connects with people who don’t believe.”
Indeed, it’s a huge challenge to connect in meaningful ways with people today. Winning the Cup, honeymooning, witnessing the birth of your child, tasting an exquisite meal, seeing your child take their first steps or walk down the aisle, watching a hilarious movie or inspirational video clip, are on a long list of moving moments that all come to pass. I love the annual visitation of extravagant cherry blossom, which brightens our days, greeting us like presidential tickertape or royal confetti.
Our West coast wild winds make short shift with such blooming beauty. Not so the divine intimacy, which God draws us into. Such fleeting moments induce questions like, ‘Who might be behind the beauty and Why?’
Jesus introduces us to this divine painter and ‘Parent-God’. Why not take time to consider cherry blossom or similar beauty, listening for echoes of another world and signs of one who made such beauty ‘just for you’. But be quick before it’s gone!