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Duddingston Kirk, Edinburgh

Sunday Services at 10 am and 11.30 am

Letter from the Manse

March 2019

Dear Friends

With the times in which we live, change and the uncertainty that comes with it, is almost inevitable. We are experiencing change in all aspects of life from the demise of the High Street (with the loss of banks and post offices) to great advancements in medical science. Change is all around us whether we want it or not.

In a recent sermon I noted that not all change is for the better! Not all change that sets out to transform us is for the better. The changes being proposed with the relationship with our brothers and sisters in Europe is causing some of our own people so much anxiety.

But it is transfigural change that is different. In the story of Christ being transfigured on top of the mountain we discover a change that only God can bring about. ‘A change came over Jesus and his clothes became shining white – whiter than anyone in the world could wash them’ (Mark 9:3). This is a change that only beautifies and only makes nobler. I am convinced that this is the kind of change we all aspire to and would like to experience.

Those who seek change can only find such beauty and nobleness when God is in the midst of such change. We are all witnesses to the kind of change brought about by political extremists or misguided religious fanatics. More and more I am finding myself asking the question, ‘Where is God in this?’ I think that it is a good question to ask. Sometimes it is difficult to see God in a situation but other times is obvious to us when God is present or when God is absent. As people of faith, we have a duty to be following the change that God has inspired and avoid change where God is not found. Easier said than done!

I believe that the Gospel calls us all to change because it calls us to be every day changing from glory to glory. Our path of faith only begins when we acknowledge ourselves to be sinners and in need of a Saviour. The Bible reminds us that all of us have fallen short of what God expects. That acknowledgement is a life-changing event in itself but just the beginning of a journey that enables us to be continually changing, becoming more and more Christ-like and experiencing for ourselves the transfiguration that Jesus experienced on Mount Tabor.

On behalf of the ministry team at Duddingston I wish you and your family a wonderfully meaningful Easter and a real celebration of the risen Christ among us.

Rev. Dr James Jack