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.
THE SILENT LOOM
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.