A View from St Kilda – April 2024

Having worked in the Retail Trade in a previous life, how supermarkets interact and attract their customers always intrigues me, there is a lot of psychology going on. A number of supermarkets put fresh produce at the door, so that the colour and the smell sends a positive signal to the buyer. When I worked as a supervisor, we were taught about bands and strips of colours running down a display so that it would be attractive to the eye.

And then there are the smaller items, seemingly on a higher shelf, encouraging you to buy a bigger or bulkier size! At the checkout, the sweets are at a level just for that child’s hand and eyes, and at the time of placing the items on the belt, distracted and harangued parents give in to the persistence of their youngsters.

On the wall I have often read the signage ‘You said, we did’ implying that the customers’ comments were noted and responded to.

‘You said, we did’. I have been thinking about that phrase in the run up to our Holy Week services and of course, the most important date on the Christian Calendar, falling early this year, on the 31st of March.
All throughout the ministry of Jesus, he told his disciples about God’s mission and how it would end in Jerusalem and in death. He told them, that for the most part, they would lack courage, deny him and flee – yes, ‘he said, they did.’

Had they taken on board and listened more intently, they would also have recalled that the crucifixion was not the end and on the third day, the tomb would be open, the stone rolled away, and Christ, would rise, bringing hope, light and life to the world.

‘You said,’ Jesus… and ‘the disciples did…’

You said a lot of things, Jesus, most profoundly in the I AM sayings found in John’s Gospel, when ‘you said’ you were the Way, the Truth, and the Life. ‘You said’ you were the Gate, ‘you said’ you were the Light of the World, The Shepherd, the Bread of Life, the Vine and the Resurrection and the Life.

As we move into Spring, we have to remember what Jesus said. And in response to what he said, and how he carried out his words, Easter asks us what we are prepared to do. He has said about continuing to grow the kingdom of God and he asks us, as the body of Christ in the world, his hands and feet, how we will follow and feed his sheep.

I think back to my time in William Low and their tagline of ‘Have you got the message?’ advertised on the television by Isla St Clair (the psychology there of a Scottish girl and a Scottish company). I wonder how many people have got the message about Jesus Christ and the joy of Easter Day. I wonder how many lives could be changed if they knew of his words and his presence in their lives. I wonder how many people would find hope, light and peace in their lives because Jesus was made known to them through others. There is the challenge for both you and me.

We know what Jesus said. We know what he said both in words and a life given for you and me. What are we going to do about it??

Have a Happy Easter from all at the manse. May you know the Risen Christ in a new way.

Your friend and minister,

George C Mackay