Last night after 6 hours of travelling by car plane train and tram Phil and I arrived home in Rotterdam after a weekend away in the Scottish borders. We were in Scotland because we had been invited by Kings Church Edinburgh to come along to their church weekend away to be their guest speakers
We had such a wonderful time and I wanted to share some reflections.
Scotland is stunningly beautiful and hills are in my opinion, are one of God’s particularly wonderful design ideas ( to look at, although not always to walk over!)
It doesn’t always rain in Scotland – in fact, there are days when not a single drop of rain falls, when the sky is blue and the sun shines through the trees accentuating Scotland’s beauty. We were fortunate to have one such weekend.
Things that remind you of home can make you miss the familiarity of living in your home nation.
In London near our home are some beautiful woods and right now they are carpeted in bluebells – Phil and I would walk there often.
Early on the first morning in Scotland I walked to the end of the site and before me was a wood filled with bluebells. I suddenly experienced a well of emotion that I wasn’t expecting.
I missed the familiarity of home, I missed walking in bluebell woods, I missed the friends we went there with but most of all I missed our UK based kids. Our daughter use to work in the café in the bluebell woods and now lives in York. Knowing she was a 2 hour drive away but that we wouldn’t see her filled me sadness and a fresh sense of loss.
Photo thanks to Tineke
Later that day I was going to be speaking on lament. Mark Vroegop in his book Dark Clouds Deep Mercy describes how lament is a prayer in pain that leads to trust. That Lament is a song you sing believing that one day God will answer and restore.
So that morning in a field on the edge of the bluebell wood I lamented - I cried, I told God about the pain and the cost and I remembered his clear call for us to move to the Netherlands.
The day before I had discovered a new worship song – you are worthy of my song.
Here are some of the lyrics.
I'm gonna sing 'til my heart starts changing Oh, I'm gonna worship 'til I mean every word 'Cause the way I feel and the fear I'm facing Doesn't change who You are or what You deserve
I give You my worship You still deserve it You're worthy, You're worthy You're worthy of my song I'll pour out Your praises In blessing and breaking You're worthy, You're worthy You're worthy of my song
So I stood in the fields near the woods and sang - I sang until my heart believed the truth I was singing and He graciously comforted me.
The people at Kings church are wonderful, friendly welcoming, fun, honest and open.
Most people on the weekend served in some capacity - setting up, packing down, preparing food, looking after kids, organising sports and games and so much more. Seeing a community in action serving each other was beautiful.
If you are reading this and live in Edinburgh or are thinking of moving there I would totally recommend this faith filled community who love each other well, have lots of fun and exist for more than themselves- they want the people of Edinburgh and of Scotland to meet Jesus.
Worshipping in a small room with lots of people from many nations never grows tired
On the last morning as people came forward to pray in their home languages asking God to move in Scotland you could sense God’s presence and singing ’Lord of the earth we shout your praise we shout your praise. Yahweh, Yahweh, We love to shout Your Name, oh Lord’ with people from many different nations was moving and beautiful.
It felt like a glimpse of heaven where one day all tribes tongues and nations will worship around the throne and before the Lamb. Rev 7v9
Stepping into prophetic promise made my heart sing
Before we left Kings church in London we had several prophetic words about how this next season would be one where we lead together and partner together. That God had new things for us and that through partnering together we would see fruit we hadn’t seen before.
Dan, Luke and Chris who lead the church are doing a great job serving the church community. Unbeknown to them their invitation to us was a significant part of us stepping into prophetic promises.
In preparation for the weekend God led me to 1 Samuel 1 and 2 where we meet Hannah – what a woman!
Over the weekend we looked at Hannah's story of lament , hearing God, surrendering and worship and God’s faithfulness to her. Phil and I shared the teaching together and got to encourage pray and prophecy over people together. Stepping into prophetic promise made my heart sing.
Serving this church together was a total privilege and we are grateful for the people we met and the friendships we made over the weekend.
Thankyou Kings Church Edinburgh for welcoming and including us so well and for all your and encouragement to us.
We loved being with you and we are looking forward to the joy of our ongoing friendship.
Other joyful moments to remember...
Friends - we went on this trip with friends which made it all the more sweet. ( Tom and Tineke from the Netherlands and Brett and Jo from London - what a treat to go together)
Bagpipes - each day the call to worship to let people know the meeting was stating was a piper - what a way to enter into worship. Here's a little snippet.
Eternal ongoing barbecuing - The programme for the weekend said that dinner on Friday night would be a barbecue but 'praise the Lord' the barbecue just kept going . Not only for dinner but late night snacks and even at breakfast the coals were going for a sausage breakfast. I wouldn't be surprised if it's still going now!