Last week at Mount Hebron Presbyterian Church we celebrated Trinity Sunday by taking a look at the closing verses of Matthews Gospel that speak about taking the gospel to all the world in the name of “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” The sermon “Matthew's vision for the Church” can be found here.
This coming Sunday, at 10:00 am, we plan to meet outdoors in our beautiful amphitheater and celebrate our Presbyterian Scottish heritage. Some folks will be dusting off their kilts. We will be using liturgy and music from the Scottish Presbyterian tradition. We will have a piper to help us celebrate. During sermon time I'll be reflecting on a parable about a judge, a nagging woman and a Scottish genius known for his “Appalling Persistence.”
One thing I won't be doing is reading or preaching in the dialect known as “Braid Scots.” I have in my study a book, published in 1910, containing collection of sermons by Rev. D. Gibb Mitchell. It includes portions of scripture in a “Braid Scot” translation. See if you can recognize this particular passage. (This may well stretch your vocal abilities if you read it loud.)
“Jesus said, forby, a particular man had twa sons. And the younger loon said to his faither, “Faither! Gie me the portion o' the property that fa's to me.” And he potioned oot the estate for them. And no land efter, the youing callant gaithered thegither a' he had, an gaed awa to a far lan'; an' there squandered his siller in wild ploys.”
If you need a translation, take a look at Luke 15:11-13 in your own preferred Bible version. Hopefully you will recognize the passage as the beginning of a parable Jesus told about a prodigal son who left home and squandered his father's fortune. In “Braid Scots” he is described as “The Ne-er-do-weel.”
The return of “Ne-er-do-weels” to the love of the Father's home is a story that we celebrate when we sing John Newtons hymn “Amazing Grace,” a favorite of pipers across the globe. The well known tune provides a fitting backdrop to a hymn that is all about the grace of God that welcomes us all to be a part of God's family.
Regardless of our culture or background, we are all welcome to worship the God of all nations. Celebrating the heritage of one particular corner of creation, that has been very influential in the religion and culture of this land, is a positive way of reminding ourselves of the many blessings we have received.
As well as being our Scottish Sunday, it is also Father's Day, “Celebrate our Sunday School Teachers Day” and we intend honoring our graduates. All-in-all an action packed morning. And... of course... there will be food. A pot-luck picnic will follow morning worship. Everybody under the sun is welcome. And if you want to bring something edible... then don't hold back.
For some music... “Celtic Woman” perform Amazing Grace... complete with full orchestra and... of course... bagpipes.
The Reverend Adrian J. Pratt B.D.