Here on my prayer diary, I want to mention the powerful sermon preached by Rev. Sally Foster-Fulton. Good for her for sticking to the Lectionary (Act 1:1-12), which undiscerning eyes might consider as an unnecessary introduction. But, no, she unpacked the three places that Luke asks Theophane to consider as he goes forth to spread the word of God.
Acts 7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Why would anyone want to consider these? Here is why.
• Jerusalem, the scene of the crucifixion, where the message seemed to fail. Start sharing God's message of love right at the site of failure!
• Judea, where the disciples came from, where they lived. Go share God's message of love in the places and among the people you know!
• Samaria, where people reach across borders and mix with those 'not their own'. Go spread God's message among different people among you!
• The world, where humanity lives. Go spread God's message to everyone.
Cottagebythesea.net. Whenever I've been in Edinburgh on a Sunday I've gone to St. Giles for worship. This time I decided to attend the 9:30 service, anticipating that it would be shorter than the 11:00; I was already thinking about the full Scottish breakfast I would have afterwards. But when I arrived at the Royal Mile and headed up the hill, there at the church was a large crowed of on-lookers, a group of bagpipers, and police keeping clear the space in front of the church. I could have turned away and gone immediately to breakfast, but with age I have become more confident. My plan was to attend church, so in I went, and, no surprise, was welcomed into a very special service: The Church of Scotland, 2023 General Assembly Morning Service.*
The choir was magnificent, the sermon by Sally Foster-Fulton, who is taking over as moderator for a year, preaching on Act 1:1-12, telling us to start to do good (God's) work from right wherever we are.
There was plenty of fanfare: clerical robes, kilts, and even a group
wearing wigs of yesteryear. But that was nothing compared to what I experienced on T.V. when Queen Elizabeth life was celebrated a few days after her death.**
* No photos allowed during the service.
** Interesting to note that we sang, The National Anthem, "God save the King."