Friday, 12 February 2016

40 Acts 2016 - Day 3 Roots

We can live somewhere for decades and never really put our roots down there. What does it look like to get more deeply rooted in our home community?

Today's act will help you to explore ways of generously investing in your home town.

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.                                  (1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT)

from Nathan McConnell, Downfield Mains Parish Church

Recently, I looked at my US passport. Inside is my UK visa and I noticed some peculiar words written next to my status. They read, ‘Migrant’. As a Minister who has come to serve in Scotland, I had never considered myself a migrant, but I do know what it feels like to leave a community and attempt to create a new one.

In our transition to Scotland, we have felt isolated, misjudged and misunderstood and have carried the weight of unfamiliarity. At times, we too have longed just to be ‘known’. But to be known means we have to be in communion (from the same root word as ‘community’). Our desire was to press into God for his communion, and lean on others for friendship within our new community.

As newly arrived Americans, we celebrated Thanksgiving Dinner last November and each of our children invited one or two friends from school. I then began the labour-intensive search for canned pumpkin (available at Tesco Online, for all you homesick Americans who like me were unable to find it) as we attempted to recreate the recipes our family holds so dear.

Traditionally we eat a turkey dinner and reread the story of the Mayflower, Squanto and the providential salvation of the pilgrims. This year was different from normal Thanksgivings, because of the people around the table. No longer family in America or Macy’s Day parades, there were secondary and university students and the godparents of my daughter Ellie. Included were Dundonians, a Glaswegian, the godparents from Aberdeen, and a beautiful Nigerian girl (also a family of migrants).

We laughed, were loud, had great conversations and in our different ways revelled in the goodness of God. I was thankful, not only for Jesus Christ, but for those he has brought to our family. It was a joyful attempt at enhancing community. Even so, I am reminded that he is the one who creates our communities because he knows us, everything we need and our lives completely.

Today's blog was written by Nathan McConnell from Downfield Mains Church.

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