Sermon Text: Psalm 16
Our text today is Psalm 16, with perhaps a focus on verses 5 and 6, where the psalmist states he has a goodly heritage. Of course, the heritage we are being obvious about today is our Scottish heritage. Perhaps our first Scottish issue today is the pronunciation of Psalm!
Before I went to school to study for ministry, I worked as a telephone engineer. I spent seven years travelling around Scotland installing telephone systems and eventually diagnosing faults and repairing them. I remember one afternoon we were installing a system in an empty office on the second floor of a building on Princes Street in Edinburgh. Princes Street is the busiest shopping area in the capitol; it is also directly across from Princes Street Gardens and above them on the rock is Edinburgh Castle. The view of Edinburgh Castle from the windows of this office was pretty spectacular. I stood looking out at this with Alex, my workmate who incidentally was from Glasgow. You have to understand there is a pretty fierce rivalry between the two cities. In the 1980’s Glasgow came out with a new slogan for the city, “Glasgow’s miles better than.” When you asked Glaswegians what it was miles better than, the answer was usually “Edinburgh!” Anyway, Alex and I had been working here all week, and as we stood in that office and looked up at the castle, he turned to me and said, “What a dump!” I, of course, laughed, because it was beautiful and responded with something along the lines of, “Yeah, I can’t believe people spend thousands of dollars to come and look at that.”
From the doorstep of my house where I was growing up, you could see Stirling Castle, which sits up on a rock like Edinburgh Castle. You could see the Wallace Monument, Scotland’s memorial to William Wallace (Braveheart) you could see the Ochil Hills, which are beautiful. But do you think I appreciated any of that? Maybe briefly, but for the most part when you are close to your heritage, when you are living right there every day, even though it is a good heritage, you take it for granted. It is easy to miss the blessings around us because we take them for granted. Read full sermon here (PDF)