The Parishes of Crail and St Ayle

Reflections from Rev. John Murray 

Sunday 8 November 2020

Grace and peace to you from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Where we gather in worship like this, we are united with one another in our Saviour.

Joshua 14:10-12: “Now then, just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years since the time he said this to Moses, while Israel moved about in the wilderness.  So here I am today, eighty-five years old!  I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then.  Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day…..but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.”

Matthew 25:1-13: At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise.  The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.  The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out:  ‘Here’s the bridegroom!  Come out to meet him!’  “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’  “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you.  Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’  “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived.  The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet.  And the door was shut.  “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’  “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever.

Good for Caleb


They say age is in the mind!  Is not Caleb a great example for us, who are not as young as we once were.  And he had been waiting 40 years.  The number 40 is a symbol for a season in life.  Regardless of age, with God helping us, we can accomplish things that we might have dreamed about earlier.  With God helping you?

We can often learn new things in the waiting room


What is distinctive about this parable is its focus on the delayed return of the expected one.  The passage calls for recognition of how to live as we wait.  How do we shape our waiting times?  The wise disciple packs a supply of oil, knowing that her wait may be unpredictable.  We are in a waiting time.  The way to get through it is not just to let time pass.  A watched kettle takes an age to boil. Let’s fill the waiting time mining the supplies of oil that God is offering us, and re-framing how we see life.




Give us oil in our lamps.  Remember the story of the widow’s oil in 2 Kings:4, ‘Your servant has nothing there at all, except a little oil’. And the little became enough.  Thank you, Lord, you can multiply our littles.




2020 Vision


2020 vision is a measure of how well we see. It symbolises normal, not perfect vision.  Jesus said much about ‘seeing’ and about ‘light’ and eyes.  Throughout the Bible, God gives visions, as gifts to his people.


In this year of 2020, with much doom and gloom and darkness around, let us bring in light and fix our eyes on Jesus, the Light of the world, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross.  Let us endure our share of suffering as the new re-framing way to seeing Jesus.



Jesus said I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life


Lord God, who made light shine out of nothing

Shine in us, give us light, that we may see

‘And there was light, and it was good’


Father we do pray ‘turn your light on in our heart’

And we also, in the stillness and peace of our home,

Look for the switch on our inside,

And press it down: and there is Light.


Lord Jesus sitting in light at the Father’s right hand, give us grace,


Give us your life, to guide and direct us in these days


And, as we gather up our thoughts, come Spirit, come Jesus

And pray within us, fill us with light that we might delight in you and your creation

We pray for light to flow down, and in and about, into all sorts of neuks and crannies,

and spaces in between, in the north, south, west and east, and throughout the land

From the high places of power to the humble habitations

Shining, giving hope, bringing healing, and fellow feeling

Here, near and everywhere                                                              










Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all that we ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church, and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, Amen.


May the God of love fill Your heart with peace

and send You into the world to live it. And the blessing of God Almighty, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer, be with you always, Amen


Remembrance 2020


At the going down of the sun,

and in the morning,

we will remember them.




Our help is in the name of the Lord, maker of heaven and earth


Lord, we remember with thanksgiving those who lived and died in the service of our country; and we ask for God’s help that we may appreciate their sacrifice as we journey on.  Open up for us, as individuals, communities, and nations, a way to honour the dead and live in the peace for which they fought

And for the week ahead 9th -15th November


ARK: Brighten up someone’s life (and your life) this week with an ARK: an Act of Random/Real Kindness: giving something with no expectation of receiving: God is in it.  The ark symbolised God’s presence, and our efforts of such kindness are such.

And always look on the bright side of life…

One factor that influences our level of optimism is how we talk to ourselves when we encounter challenges, set-backs, or frustration.  At these times we tend to assume the worst-case scenario, and only focus on the negative aspects of the situation.  Therefore, the first optimism skill is to look for the positive aspects of a situation (as well as acknowledging your negative emotional response).  We could also ask ‘what would go well in this situation?’ rather than just ‘what could go badly?’


Christ as a light, Christ as a shield, Christ beside me, on my left and my right.

© 2018 - 2020 by St Ayle