It's been a most interesting end of the old and start to the new.
The rectory was burgled one early evening just before Christmas. The intruder was met by GV Boy, who is stilll struggling with the shock of that confrontation. I know what that's like - a few years ago I returned to the rectory during the day and discovered the front door smashed. As I got into the house and called the police, I heard movement upstairs and went to confront my visitor. He was out on the roof, making his escape by jumping off. If I 'd done the same, I'd have broken my neck, so thought better of it. A few months later the culprits (for there were two) were caught in another house nearby and given short sentences after admitting several dozen other offences. It's painful dealing with such events: the sense of violation and the fear of it happening again can linger for a long time. It does look like we'll need to increase the security arrangements at my home -"Machine Gun Preacher"?
No damage to the rectory or church in "Son of Bawbag", though I had to rescue GV Girl #1 on her way to work on Tuesday, after she was blown into a lamp post. Thankfully her injuries were slight.
The damage around the city however is very great and I saw several streets in the West End blocked off by police cars, as the fear of chimneys and slates falling was so great. Many trees have come down, and the debris is still being cleared up.
Yesterday, I was out getting soaked in the rain as I assisted the Dynorod man who was trying to sort out a damaged drain. I think he appreciated me holding my ladder for him. I wonder if his employers will accept my hourly rate?
Despite all of that disruption and difficulty, there has been much good time with family and friends as well as some wonderful worship (with larger attendances on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, possibly because the latter was on a Sunday?), especially on New Year's Day, when we had a simple eucharist, with one musician, some old songs and hymns and a lot of reflection. More people were present than I'd anticipated, and it felt like a good start to the year.
Today the sun is shining on Glasgow - I know it always does during the day, but it seems like it's had to do it through clouds forever!
I preached on the following passage last Sunday. It can easily be taken too personally and out of context, but this year I'm seeking new things in my following of Jesus Christ, not resting on my laurels or taking anything for granted.
"Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert
and streams in the wasteland." Isaiah 43:18-19