A Good Heritage

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)

Daniel The First Braveheart

Sermon Text:  Daniel 6:10-16

There is a great scene in the movie Braveheart. If you have not seen it, it is the story of William Wallace, Scottish patriot and his struggle to free Scotland from the tyranny of the English King Edward, who had been brutal in his treatment of Scotland and her people. So in the Scottish army is face to face with an English army vastly superior in numbers and weapons. The Scottish chiefs and noblemen are planning to negotiate a treaty with the English, which would allow them to benefit financially. It’s how these things worked. The noblemen benefited, continued to pledge allegiance to the King and the King in return had Scotland under his control. The result is that those men on the battlefield ready to give their life end up paying higher taxes to cover the noblemen’s debt to the King.
As the noblemen plan their strategy, Wallace appears with his men. He gives the famous speech about them never taking our freedom, and then follows the noblemen onto the field to negotiate. His men ask where he is going and Wallace turns around, smiles and says, “I’m going to pick a fight”. He goes on to challenge the English and it becomes a battle Scotland wins. It is a scene that stirs the emotions. I want to be that guy. But there are different ways to fight...
Read full sermon here (PDF)