I’m kicking myself that I didn’t get a photo of all 6 Revs joining in with the ‘Kirking of The Council’ on Sunday. This tradition spans 100’s of years and allows the newly elected council and employees to be encouraged in their roles as public servants and in seeking the common good. The Queen’s death forced a postponement of the service to 6 months after local elections. Nonetheless it was good to see the central pews of Irvine Old’s ancient sanctuary filled and a positive service enjoyed.
Fr Boyd, Revs Alec Wark, Don Currie, Hilary Beresford & Jamie Milliken had led worship, sharing & praying with North Ayrshire Council (NAC). I had the joy of delegation and simply helped coordinate the service beforehand.
A previous Provost told me that, as well as giving encouragement, it’s a chance to give the council a ‘wee kick up the backside’. Strangely, my spell checker always wants to change ‘Kirking’ to ‘Kicking’. So, did we Revs give oor beloved cooncilors & NAC a ‘right guid kicking’?
Not at all! Recent seismic tremors of war, financial and political ructions have left our councils and public institutions decimated in ability to meet the real needs of our communities. Rev Jamie pointed us to God’s advice to Moses and God’s People to share the load of care and leadership, indeed it is a time for ‘all hands on deck’ and a resilience and determination to see each other through these trying days. Jamie reminded us of Jesus’ story of The Good Samaritan, and the huge difference it makes when share what we have and seek peace, rather than conflict.
Psalm 46 says, ‘Be Still’ amidst earthquake, and ‘know that God is God and we humans are not!’ Oh the relief to stop trying to ‘play God’, in total control, and to trust in a God Who loves us and wants to bless others through us!
In Jesus’ beatitudes He meets us in our poverty and to lead us through mourning and painful loss to raw realism and into: a meekness, receptive to God’s new world; a hunger for right relationships; a readiness to channel God’s mercy to others; a growing insight into our core identity as God’s Children that allows us clarity and confidence to become ‘Peace Makers’.
“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.” (MSG)
But brace yourself for the next step in Jesus’ journey, Persecution! People don’t always appreciate such counter-cultural change. But be blessed and encouraged when people give you a kicking for standing up for what’s right and godly, you’re in good company!
I commend NAC for its striving to “Deliver better outcomes in partnership with our communities, reducing poverty and building a better future for our young people in North Ayrshire.”
On behalf of God, We Rev’s affirmed such commitment to the vulnerable of our shire. We encouraged greater team work to do it and, committed North Ayrshire churches to praying for NAC Council. We encouraged the seeking of God’s Wisdom, Guidance & Help to serve God and People of the Shire. It starts with a simple prayer, “God Help Us!” and can lead to multiplied blessings.