Serendipity: A ‘Happy Accident or Coincidence’. There I stood in the Foyer of Edinburgh’s Playhouse when, low and behold, my future wife stood 30 feet away. Two years previously we’d only met briefly. Was is it my sometime effusive friendliness, spurred on by the striking impression she’d previously made on me, that catapulted me towards her with that exocet hug and kiss? She had forgotten my name, but this fleeting, ‘serendipitous’ encounter provided the spark for future intended meetings. Within months we were engaged and married!

‘Serendipity’ is also a slushy romantic film with a brilliant sound track, but what brings this lovely word to mind are the number of beautiful coincidences, or God-incidences as I prefer to call them, I regularly encounter. Last Thursday I accidentally visited Nan Bryson on the eve of her 100th birthday, thinking it was her actual birthday, and happened to be there when her birthday card and congratulations arrived from The Queen.

Friends Ann & Hazel moved to Scotland from the north of England about three years ago. Just before the Covid curtains came down on our freedoms Ann & Hazel were wondering where God had a church family they could call home. So happens someone, with connections to Fullarton Church, viewing them in a Troon shop, felt prompted to suggest to Ann & Hazel that they should go to Fullarton. They wondered if Fullarton was a nearby town and did some investigations. About 2 ½ years later, encouraged by lifting restrictions our Jordie jewels found their way to worship in Fullarton Connexions and have been enjoying joining in with what God’s doing there. Indeed, on Sunday they formally joined Fullarton Church.

Sunday last also saw Tracy & son Cain being baptised and Ryan & Darryl receiving ‘soaked blessings’ as they confirmed their previous baptisms, and each of them have a story to tell of serendipitous God-incidences which have combined to bring them to this point of commitment and celebration of their faith, hope & love in Christ.

I don’t understand how freewill, destiny, luck and fate combine under God’s Gracious Care and Keeping. Am I just a hopeless romantic? Your present experience may not be so fortuitous. Your Scottish summer hopes may have been washed away. Come what may (or August), can I encourage you to trust in the God who can take all human experience and work it together for good, even turning the awful negative of Christ’s cruel crucifixion into the most towering positive, plus sign of all time! I pray some serendipitous summer renewal for us all.

“Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”

Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)