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    Saturday 11th September 2021 – The lochs of Scotland

    Saturday 11th September 2021 – The lochs of Scotland
    September 10, 2021 Judith Simms

    For the next two years we have invited special guest writers to contribute our Weekly Prayers. This month, we welcome former MWiB President Jill Baker.

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    We continue our reflections around the landscape of Scotland (where I live) as we turn to focus on those beautiful stretches of water, the lochs.  There are more than 30,000 freshwater lochs in Scotland, and many sea lochs as well – the silver lining of having so much rain perhaps!

    As I noted last week about glens, lochs too can have different moods.  When skies are grey and rain is expected they can be inky black, brooding and mysterious.  When the sun shines they turn into sheets of silver, sparkling and playful.  In so many ways the landscape in which we live can seem to express our emotions – and, at times, affect them too.

    Much of the narrative of the Gospels happens on and around a lake, the Sea of Galilee.  It is a place of calling, a place of fear, a place of relief, a place of encounter, a place of transformation… and, it appears, at times Jesus himself pauses by the lake to think and reflect.  So often, his presence draws the crowds and his time of reflection becomes a time for story-telling and teaching:

    Matthew 13: 1–3
    1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow…’

    So walk with me for a few moments down to the shore of a tiny inland lochan in Perthshire.

    It is a bright autumn day, the sky is mainly blue, interspersed with a few white clouds.   A very gentle breeze is blowing, throwing the reflections in the surface of the loch into a soft focus. Standing at the edge of the water ponder on the word ‘reflect’…

    Reading this devotional piece on the MWiB website means you have made a choice to spend some time reflecting now…

    …in a different use of the word, we are gazing at the loch which is reflecting back to us the clarity of the sky…

    …the dense growth of the conifer forest…

    …the presence of the clouds…

     

    God of the loch, thank you that you sit beside me as I pause to pray and reflect in my journey today.

    My eyes gaze out at the waters before me;
    I shiver slightly, wondering how deep the water is,
    imagining my fear if I were to be immersed and in danger,
    visualising you, Jesus, walking towards me on the loch and feeling my relief. 

    God of the loch, thank you that you sit beside me as I pause to pray and reflect in my journey today.

    Help me to slow down, to let the waters of my soul settle;
    to receive clarity in those matters which trouble me…
    to be willing to grow into more of the riches you offer me…
    to recognise your presence in any clouds which overshadow me…

    God of the loch, thank you that you sit beside me as I pause to pray and reflect in my journey today.

    Amen.

     

    Prayers and images © Jill Baker.
    You can download a pdf of September’s Weekly Prayers here: