Daily Worship

Surrounded by (God’s) boundless love

Ken MacKenzie September 06, 2021 0 1
Image credit: Unsplash
Listen to this daily worship

Psalm 125 (NIV)

1 Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
    which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
2 As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
    so the Lord surrounds his people
    both now and forevermore.

3 The scepter of the wicked will not remain
    over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
    their hands to do evil.

4 Lord, do good to those who are good,
    to those who are upright in heart.
5 But those who turn to crooked ways
    the Lord will banish with the evildoers.

Peace be on Israel.

High amongst the many blessings we experience here in The Parish of Braemar and Crathie is the year-round opportunity we have to offer hospitality to strangers and pilgrims, and with it, the equally joyous responsibility of welcoming friends old and new not just into our homes (or in some cases pulpits) but out into the mountains.

When it comes to visiting preachers it usually falls on me to provide the welcome, but two summers ago Duncan MacPherson, an erstwhile guest preacher, returned the favour by playing host on our patch. He invited a few of us to join him on the ascent of An Socach — a gem of a mountain located right in the heart of this parish — one he had long-reserved as his last Munro (a Scottish mountain over 3,000 feet).

I have been going up hills virtually all my life, but that particular day and that particular walk must rank amongst the most memorable mountain days ever. In part it had to do with the topography. At 3079 feet, An Socach is not a particularly massive Munro, and it is relatively accessible, but for some reason I had never climbed it before, nor had I ever considered what kind of vista it might provide.

On the map, and on a misty day, An Socach might seem to stand alone, but it is in fact surrounded by a distant yet distinct ring of ancient and still grander mountains. On that clear day I could pick them out individually, one familiar peak after another, and like Duncan, I could recall some weary but worthwhile wanderings — sometimes in the company of some equally weary and worshipful friends. 


Eternal and ever-blessed God
With the psalmist and the mountaineer we marvel at the majesty of your creation.
With your people and all creation, we bow down in wonder and in worship.
One step behind the songwriter *, we rejoice in the knowledge that whether on the mountaintop or in the valley, we are forever ‘surrounded by your boundless love’. 
Accept our worship, in Jesus Name, AMEN.

* (It is probably not very often that the somewhat irreverent John Prine is given a mention in online devotions – but today he does!)