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    Saturday 18th September – The burns of Scotland

    Saturday 18th September – The burns of Scotland
    September 17, 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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    This week as we allow the beautiful landscape of Scotland to speak to our souls, we stroll alongside the burns or streams which flow through every glen, which feed into every loch, the plentiful water which is never still, always restless.

    Sometimes reduced to a meagre trickle after a dry spell, sometimes a churning brown mass after very heavy rain, sometimes a gentle flow under the tiny ancient bridges of the glen, the little burn winds its way from last week’s lochan, heading eventually to the sea, interweaving with our path as we walk down the glen.

    ~ Is your temperament more like a loch or a burn?

    ~ Are you good at stillness and reflection, or do you prefer to be active and on the move?

    ~ Or, like the Scottish landscape, have you managed to achieve that most precious goal of all, balance?

    ~ ‘Not for ever by still waters would we idly rest and stay’, the hymnwriter wisely wrote (Love Maria Willis, 1824-1908, in ‘Father, hear the prayer we offer, Singing the Faith 518).

    ~ If our lochs of stillness and beauty are to have water in them at all, we need the rushing burns to fill and resource them.

    Throughout Scripture, moving water is often likened to the Spirit of God, who refreshes and energises us, satisfying our deep thirst for God and for goodness, whilst also perpetually calling us on, to drink more deeply, to immerse ourselves more fully, to lose ourselves in the great Spirit of God at work in the world.

    Isaiah 44: 3–4
    3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground;
    I will pour my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing on your offspring.
    4 They shall spring up like a green tamarisk, like willows by flowing streams.

     

    God of the burn, thank you for the gift of your Spirit flowing through me like a restless burn today. 

     I hear the splash of the waters, I feel the spray as it hits rocks, I smell the moisture in the air;
    sometimes my own inner burn is barely discernible, weak and faint;
    sometimes the pull of the Spirit is almost overwhelming;
    but always you offer me the Spirit’s energy to refresh and resource me.

    God of the burn, thank you for the gift of your Spirit flowing through me like a restless burn today. 

    I look along the burn, but it twists and turns and disappears from my sight;
    grant me grace to open myself to more of your Spirit;
    grant me courage to be willing to follow where you lead;
    may all my activity channel the fullness of your Spirit into my landscape. 

    God of the burn, thank you for the gift of your Spirit flowing through me like a restless burn today. 

    Amen.

     

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