From The Land Comes the Cloth

My trip to Lewis last weekend was quite inspirational. It was the communion Season in Lewis and I was delighted be be sharing in the preparatory services that precede the Communion service.  It was a new experience for me to see so many people turn up at church to share in all three preparatory services leading up to the Communion on Sunday morning. 

It was also a great joy to see seventeen new people admitted to the membership of the Church of Scotland. It caused me to reflect that perhaps we could all learn something from what its happening at Martin's Memeorial in Stornaway.  Both ministers Tommy MacNeil and Stephen MacDonald told me that they felt John 4. 36 spoke clearly to their situation and have decided to invite their congregation to take these words to heart.

 Perhaps it speaks to all of us. Jesus speaking to his disciples about expectation said to them  " Don't you have a saying, 'It's four months until harvest'?  I tell you, open your eyes and look on the fields they are white already to harvest" It got me thinking perhaps we all need a greater sense of expectation. Could it be that there are more people than you might ever imagine who are waiting to be invited to share in the hope and peace of the gospel. 

I was particularly interested in our visit to the Harris Tweed Mill and I particularly enjoyed a chance to peddle on one of the looms. later on we were presented with a first edition of a spectacular book by Ian lawson entitled “ From the Land Comes the Cloth” 

Moving round the mill I was reminded that one strand of wool was easily broken however when that strand was twisted and bound with other strands it becomes strong and enduring. A trip round the mill invites you to become more reflective as you look at the natural product of wool from a sheep and see how gradually it is made into cloth. So many colours woven together to make stunning garments. Here’s part of a poem I found in Lawson’s book which I rememberer seeing hanging on my grandmother’s kitchen wall many years ago.


Man’s life is laid in the loom of time

To a pattern he does not see,

While the weaver works and the shuttle fly 

Till the day of eternity.


Some shuttles are filled with silver thread,

And some with threads of gold:

While often but the darker hues 

Is all that they behold

But the weaver watches with skilful eye 

Each shuttle fly to and fro,

And see the pattern so deftly wrought, 

As the loom works sure and slow.


God surely planned that pattern 

Each thread -  the dark and fair - 

Was chosen by his  Master skill 

And placed in the web with care.

He only,  knows the beauty 

And guides the shuttles which hold

The threads so unattractive,  

As well s the threads of gold.


Not till the loom is silent,

And the shuttle cease to fly

Shall God unroll the pattern

And explain the reason why

The dark threads are as needful

In the weavers skilful hand

As the threads of gold and silver

In the pattern he has planned.

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