Happy New Year, or same old same old?

Photos of mist and fog may be very picturesque, but when real life seems foggy and gloomy, it’s a different story. There’s a cartoon of a couple of folk wandering in the desert, and they come across two sets of footprints. After a moment, one of them says to the other – “You know, we’ve been lost here before”.And I guess that’s how it probably feels to many of us at present – the virus running wild, hospital numbers spiralling, the country back in lockdown. Even though we know there are vaccines out there, we also know that there are tough times ahead, before we see a real improvement in the situation. How are we going to get through? We need wisdom…and that’s what we’ll be exploring tomorrow, and in the next few weeks in our online Zoom services. Due to lockdown restrictions our Sunday afternoon Sanctuary Services are suspended, but you are welcome to join us online – just get in touch and we’ll send you the link.

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Christmas 2020 – Comfort and joy?

“The light shines in the darkness…”

It’s been a strange, difficult year, and for some, perhaps for you, a sad one. So, can we still speak about “good tidings of comfort and joy”? Well, we’d say yes. This is because at the heart of all our Christmas celebrations is the birth of Jesus. God himself becomes one of us, entering into our world to share in its joys and its sadness, and to bring us hope of lives – and a world – made new. If you would like to take time to celebrate God’s gift to us, then you’re welcome to join one of our services over the Christmas period, or just check out the video below.

Our Christmas Eve Watchnight Service is at 11.30 pm on December 24th, with carols, Bible readings, and a reflection on the birth of Jesus. It’s a chance to enter Christmas Day with a focus on the Christ child at the heart of Christmas. This will be held in the church (though with some restrictions on numbers) and will also be online, via Zoom. If you’d like to join us in church you are very welcome, though please email or phone us first to make sure there are still spaces for you. If you wish to join us online, please email us and we’ll send you a link, or go via our Facebook page where you’ll find the link from about 10.30 pm.

And if you want something reflective to watch in your own time, here are some Christmas thoughts based around the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” https://youtu.be/1Y2Cdvri7Jo

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Light on the horizon

(Sunrise at Hogganfield Loch – Katharine Kilgour)

In our online Sunday morning services we’re thinking about the life of Jospeh (of technicolour dreamcoat fame). He gets sold into slavery by his brothers, then unjustly imprisoned, then misses a chance of freedom because he gets forgottten. He knows a thing or two about lockdowns…and he also knows something about trusting God, and eventually seeing how God is at work though all this. You’re very welcome to join us to hear more and hopefully to find some encouragement in these gloomy times. There IS light on the horizon, and a presence with us in the gloom. If you’d like to join us any Sunday at 11.00 am, drop David, our minster, an email at david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you a Zoom link.

Also, we now have an afternoon service in the church building itself, at 3.00 pm. Numbers are limited for this, and face coverings are necessary, but you are very welcome to join us. So that we can make sure that we are okay for numbers it will help if you can contact us in advance, either by email or by phone – 07975531585 . (While we are in Tier 4, only those from within Glasgow itself may attend, though we hope that these restrictions will be lifted soon)

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The hope of glory?

So much of our life at present seems to be lived with a mixture of sadness and stress as well as the normal things which bring us joy and contentment. It’s not surprising then that we find our emotions are all over the place. For many of us at Millerston this last week has been a particularly tough one. And for many in society generally, even if we are not dealing with the sadness of bereavement, or fearful of our economic situation, the ongoing stress and uncertainty of these strange times is taking an emotional toll. So in our service this week we’re going to think about two phrases from the Bible, and how they may help settle and encourage us, and lift us beyond the current gloom – “Christ in you, the hope of glory” and “treasure in jars of clay”. We meet via Zoom, at 11.00 am, and if you’d like to join us you’ll be very welcome. Let us know, and we’ll send you a link.

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Uncharted territory

After over three months of significant restrictions, as the pandemic seems to be easing at least for the present, Scotland is moving out of lockdown. However, in some ways this new period may be as hard as lockdown itself – some people are still shielding or are nervous about going out, some people are desperate to get back to work or shopping, while still others wonder if they will have a job to go back to. Nobody really knows how the next few weeks, months and years will work out, as we begin to count the economic, social and personal costs of the strange and sometimes difficult times we are living through. Some talk about the “new normal”. Perhaps we would be wiser to think about a move into uncharted territory.

As a church, we’re continuing our Sunday morning services on Zoom, with plans to move back to worship in and from the church itself when it is safe to do so. At the moment we’re learning some lessons from the experience of the early church in the book of Acts who were also moving into uncharted territory – nobody had ever been church before, so everything was new. There are lots of helpful insights, and some challenges, for us in our situation today If you’d like to join us on any Sunday, please send an email to david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you the link.

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In perspective…

We’re entering the tenth week of lockdown in the UK, and for many of us it may seem to be dragging. While there are glimpses of light at the end of the tunnel with a possible route map out of lockdown, there’s a long way to go…and who knows what the new normal will look like when we get there?
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all, this elephant in the room which can dominate so much of our thinking and send our emotions all over the place. But this week, Christians celebrated Ascension Day – and if we understand that a bit better we’ll find it puts our present situation into a bit of perspective. If you’d like to join us for Sunday worship on May 24th, at 11.00am, then send us an email to david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com and we’ll send you a link. You’ll be very welcome.

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Times and dates

We’re seven weeks into lockdown so far. For all that we understand why it’s important (and it really is!) a lot of folk are getting frustrated and are asking “How much longer?” But the elephant in the room that is COVID-19 keeps getting in the way of our attempt to sort out times and dates. Jesus’ disciples worried about times and dates too as they asked Jesus, after his resurrection, “How long? When are you going to fix things?” That’s what we’re thinking about this Sunday, the 10th of May, and if you’d like to come in and join us on Zoom you’re very welcome. Get in touch, and we’ll send you a link

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On the beach…

Normally in the weeks following Easter, we look at some of the post-resurrection stories like the road to Emmaus, Jesus and Thomas, Jesus appearing to his disciples on the beach, and so on, and often, if we’re honest, preach pretty similar sermons each year. But this year, the elephant in the room is Coronavirus, which is affecting everything. But maybe there are things about this particular time of uncertainty which connect us with how the disciples felt after Jesus’ resurrection. In our Sunday worship this week we’ll look at the story of Jesus meeting his disciples after a late night fishing trip. In other words, the elephant is now on the beach…
If you’d like to join us, you’ll be very welcome. Send us a message, and we’ll send you the link to our Zoom worship.

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Happy Easter

Although for obvious reasons the way we celebrate Easter is a bit different this year to most years, the truth that Jesus is alive, sin is paid for and death is defeated, remain true for always. Here’s the final short video in our series, looking at the significance of the Resurrection of Jesus. And if you would like to join us for our online celebration of Easter, please contact David at david.millerstonpastor@gmail.com, or go through our Facebook page, and we’ll send you a link to our Zoom gathering

However you spend the day, we hope you have a great Easter. May it be a day in which you encounter the risen Jesus in a fresh way.

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So, Holy Saturday? Is that a thing?

Yes it is. Of course, it’s the day between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. But it has a theme of its own, and that’s the idea of waiting. For those who know the truth of Easter, we know that we await the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. But that first Easter, Jesus’ traumatised followers could have had no idea what God was about to do…

Here’s our fourth short video reflection, in which we think a bit more about why Holy Saturday might have something to say to us in the middle of this pandemic.

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