Gifts often come in unexpected ways

A few weeks ago, I visited the historic St Andrews and St George`s West Church in Edinburgh which was so much part of my family`s growing up.  And so I was full of expectation that all would be as it was 30 years ago—or even better—and it was.

In addition to continuing to be a place of spiritual nourishment and solace, there was the same warmth of genuine welcome from some people whom I knew but also from some I didn’t know.

And it was abundantly clear by the friendliness of the place that the Church here has adapted itself to wider public use and meaning and new engaging initiatives with widely different communities.

Particularly pleasing was what I found downstairs in the Undercroft which still has a most beautiful sanctuary. On every luncheon table were these words of wisdom from an ancient Sanskrit poem:

 Look to this day; for it is life; the very life of life

In this brief course, lie all the traditional truths of existence

The joy of growth; the glory of action; the splendour of beauty

For yesterday is already a memory, and tomorrow is only a vision

But today, well lived, makes every tomorrow a vision of hope

Look well, therefore, to this day

 We all search for foundations of life.

Jesus whose birth we celebrate this month brought a perspective of life and taught us a way of living which allows us to look to the future with hope.  He probably knew these words of wisdom. So whatever you plan to be doing this Christmas and wherever you might be amongst its busyness and clamour and fun, think on these ancient words of wisdom.

And, every day, try to live your life to the fullest that you can with love, with compassion and with enthusiasm. I wish you a very Happy Christmas and a well lived New Year!

Graham Garvie

Graham Garvie was an elder and Session Clerk of St Andrew’s and St George’s Church during Andrew Wylie’s ministry (1972-86). He is now Convener of Borders Council.

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